Graminy is an award-winning ensemble that creates a unique and engaging soundscape they call “class-grass”. They fuse components of grassroots and classical traditions, creating performances that are energetic and inquisitive, with quick changes and generous improvisation. The group’s instrumentation blends a classical string trio (violins, viola and cello) with elements of a bluegrass rhythm section (mandolin, guitar and banjo) to create something, “…both complex and immediate, elusive and apparent.”
Graminy presents original compositions that reflect themes of environment and place. In 2010, Sauk City’s River Arts Center commissioned them to write and record the debut album, Water-Grass-Place, whose release featured a full live performance with choir. Two years later, Graminy wrote and recorded a concept album, Germinations: A Bluegrass Symphony in D, which was commissioned by Reedsburg’s Wormfarm Institute and premiered at their 2012 Fermentation Festival. It received awards for “Classical Album of the Year”, and “Classical Song of the Year” at the 2014 Madison Area Music Awards, and two members received additional honors for “Specialty Instrumentalist of the Year”.
In Graminy’s recent release, Dance of the Plants, the newest generation of material is as catchy as it is complex, continuing their evolution along the class-grass spectrum.
Graminy’s music focuses on themes of ecology and place. Their name derives from the botanical term for the grass family, Gramineae, as the music draws on the family of grassroots traditions, from all places and ecologies. They also play for dances and other non-concert events under the name Thirsty Roots.