David Grisman emerged as a mandolin visionary from New York City’s Greenwich Village folk scene in the early 1960s. He first played with local bluegrass bands and then professionally with the Even Dozen Jug Band, Red Allen and the Kentuckians and Earth Opera. He became a record producer and session player on recordings with Tom Paxton, Judy Collins, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt and many others. In 1969, Jerry Garcia invited David to play on the Grateful Dead’s classic American Beauty. Garcia famously dubbed him “Dawg” and their musical friendship led to the legendary bluegrass band, Old & In The Way.
Dawg unleashed an acoustic musical revolution with his 1977 release — The David Grisman Quintet, forging a ground-breaking style rooted in high-energy bluegrass, interlaced with elements of jazz and world music. The Quintet showcased dawg music for four decades with its renowned members — Tony Rice, Darol Anger, Todd Phillips, Mike Marshall, Mark O’Connor, Joe Craven, Enrique Coria, Matt Eakle, Jim Kerwin, John Carlini, George Marsh, Frank Vignola and others. David also maintained a formidable traditional bluegrass presence with the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience.
In 1990 David founded Acoustic Disc, producing over 100 projects featuring collaborations with Jerry Garcia, Tony Rice, Doc Watson, Stephane Grappelli, John Hartford, Mike Seeger, Andy Statman, Vassar Clements, Martin Taylor, John Sebastian, Tommy Emmanuel and others, as well as historically important recordings by Dave Apollon, Jacob Do Bandolim, Oscar Aleman, Svend Asmussen and Bill Monroe.
Today his Dawg Trio offers a fresh new crop of dawg tunes featuring songster Danny Barnes (banjo & guitar) and David’s son Samson Grisman (bass). Five decades after their first show together, Grisman still performs with his old friend, bluegrass icon Del McCoury. David Grisman is now known worldwide for his melodious mandolin style, compositional ingenuity and the inspired performances of the groups he continues to lead.