„Leave that Berklee shit at home“ was Little Joe Cook’s onstage shout when Sebastian Grimus played a solo that was a little bit too jazzy for his taste. After Grimus had completed his jazz studies at the City of Vienna Conservatory and the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston (whose list of alumni includes jazz giants such as Quincy Jones, Keith Jarrett and Joe Zawinul) he was sharing the stage with Cook every night. Cook’s „Peanuts Song“ was a global hit in the 50s; in the 80s and 90s, his performances as a disco soul singer sold out Boston’s Cantab Lounge three times a week. Cook’s musical tips like „keep it simple“, „stick to the melody“ and „play syncopated“ are still relevant to everything Grimus is playing to this day.
A musical journey
With these pieces of advice under his belt, Grimus returned to Austria in 1997 and is now considered one of the best Austrian sax players in the pop, soul and funk idioms. But he is by no means standing still. Grimus gets his inspiration from performances at international festivals like the Jazzfest in Havana (Cuba), the Naples Beach Festival (Italy) or as a soloist for the Austrian Music Days in Sofia (Bulgaria), the Jazz Night in Zug (Switzerland) the Austrian Jazz Night in Los Angeles (USA), concerts in Finland, France, Russia, Spain and Portugal as well as his interest in traditional Austrian music. His groovy interpretation of the Austrian national anthem even made it onto TV screens.
Besides his regular involvement with the "Parov Stelar Band", Grimus is also working as a highly-regarded freelance sax player for artists such as Emma Lanford (Horny/Mousse T), Joy Malcolm („Moby’s“ lead singer) or Wolfgang Ambros (Austrian Singer), amongst many others.
2005 marks the start of Grimus’ work as a solo artist. With his own band, Sebastian Grimus writes and performs music that ranges from groove jazz to instrumental pop.
„I’ve always been excited by cultural diversity. The musicians in my band come from all corners of the world. I have intuitively chosen band members with international roots because their cultural background adds a nice colour to my compositions. The opportunity to touch people’s hearts with my music and let them get swept away into a world of sound excites me time and time again“, says Sebastian Grimus.
The solo album
In 1999, Grimus meets the producers Werner Stranka and Martin Gellner (a.k.a. Beat4Feet). They are impressed by Grimus’ extraordinary approach to mixing classic jazz with electronica, latin grooves with blues feel and chill-out sound. In 2004, after some other musical projects, the two master producers decide to collaborate with Grimus on the production of his solo album „Grimus 1970“, an album that builds a perfect bridge between styles and cultures that couldn’t be more diverse. „Working with Grimus was very special because he managed to reconcile many different styles of jazz in an effortless way,“ say Beat4Feet’s Martin Gellner and Werner Stranka.
Wheepin´ Willi, Buddy Johnson, Wolfgang Ambros, Austrian Jazz Orchestra, Beat4Feet, Joy Malcolm, Supermax, Jeremy Schönfeld, Lia Weller, Andy Baum, Iris Camaa, Doretta Carter, Concert Jazz Orchestra Vienna, Emma Lanford, Little Joe Cook, Jade Davis, The Hot Pants Road Club, Denis Jale, Jose Ritmo, Stella Jones, Hansi Lang, Chris Fillmore, Joe Sample, Andy Lee Lang, Mo, Parov Stelar, Sandra Pires, Mat Schuh, T.C. Pfeiler, The Bad Powells, The Superfly Radio Orchestra, Swing Time Big Band, The Rounder Girls, Meena Cryle, Vienna Big Band Machine, Freeman Singers, Andie Gabauer, Monika Ballwein, Davy Kaufmann, Ostinato, Robert Castelli, Live Spirits... as well as numerous TV shows and musicals.
Solo project: „GRIMUS 1970“, Diversity Recordings 054-001
Distributed by REBEAT Music International
Press reviews for the album „Grimus 1970“:
„ …a successful debut ... with electronica, traditional Viennese songs and chill-out sounds, latin zest and blues feel he draws on abundant resources... “
Eva Kerzan, NÖN
„ …his solo debut „1970“ ... is a bold and charming cross between traditional Viennese songs, jazz and electronica... “
Guido Tartarotti, Kurier
„ ...have you ever heard cool and jazzy saxophone sounds mixed with Hans Moser’s (legendary Austrian actor) gentle singsong? No? Me neither. But from now on I will listen to it every 2 to 3 days. Listen to it too! ... “
Robert Hauk, Music Manual