about Graminy


Founded in 2010, Graminy is based in Madison, Wisconsin. We seek to fuse the classical and grassroots traditions, from Bach to bluegrass, from Copland to Celtic, from Gershwin to native American, from Kodaly to klezmer, and more. Drawing on all these styles, Graminy composes and arranges all its music, which includes lots of quick changes, generous improvisations, and occasional singing. We call our style “class-grass.” Our aim is to put more class in grass and more grass in class.


Graminy’s music focuses on themes of ecology and place. Our name derives from the botanical name for the grass family, Gramineae, as our music draws on the entire family of grassroots traditions, from all places and ecologies. We also play for dances and other non-concert events under the name Thirsty Roots.


There is always a collective process to our composition. Usually, a member of band brings a new tune and an arrangement to rehearsal, but it fast becomes a de-rangement, as ideas spring into the air. We call it “graminizing” a piece.

The Band


Dance of the Plants


Release date: Dec. 5th, 2015!  In time for the holidays!  (Stocking stuffers, anyone?) This new release will highlight our compositions that fall more to the grass side of class-grass.  (Yes, the rumors are true: there is banjo on this album.  Plus some real music!)  (Hey, did you hear the one about the banjo player who…)  It includes tunes by our violist Shauncey Ali, our mandolinist Mike Bell, and tunes we wrote collaboratively – all “graminized” through our group process of arrangement and derangement.

Coming this fall



Our 2013 release, which won the 2014 MAMA award for Classical Album of the Year.

Buy Now


Graminy in concert, April 13, 2012, at the Loving of the Land Concert in Mills Hall on the University of Wiconsin campus,
performing “(A Short History of Ricky and Phyllis of) The Baraboo Hills.”

Graminy in concert, January 15, 2012, at the Broom Street Theater in Madison, Wisconsin, performing “Minikanan,” a part of our “Gatherings” suite, which will be on our forthcoming third album, Dance of the Plants.

Latest News

  • Hey world, our new album goes on sale Dec. 5

    Well, we’ve finally gone and done it — finished our third album, Dance of the Plants. In time for Christmas, Kwanza, and Hanukkah! (Just pointing that out…) It’s a collection of Graminy tunes more on the grassy side of class-grass.  We’re really pleased with how......

  • Fermentation Fest Write-up

    Madison Magazine wrote a nice piece about our up-coming performance at Fermentation Fest....

  • Graminy wins MAMA

    We win the MAMA Awards for “Classical Album of the Year” and “Classical Song of the Year” for our 2013 album “Germinations: a Bluegrass Symphony in D” and for “March of the Cranes,” one of the tracks on the album. We’ve posted a nice long......

Upcoming Shows

Dec 5th, 2015 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm | CD release concert and party at Trinity United Methodist Church | Madison, WI
Feb 20th, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm | Thirsty Roots contradance at Grace Episcopal Church | Madison, WI
Feb 26th, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm | Graminy Concert at Stoughton Opera House | Stoughton, WI
Feb 27th, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm | Graminy Concert at Chestnut Center for the Arts | Marshfield, WI
Mar 5th, 2016 at 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm | Thirsty Roots contradance at Prairie Hill Waldorf School | Pewaukee, WI
Apr 9th, 2016 at 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm | Loving of the Land Concert -- Graminy with the Trinity Irish Dancers at Music Hall, UW-Madison Campus | Madison, WI
May 14th, 2016 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm | Graminy Concert at Grace Episcopal Church | Madison, WI

Press Kit

Click on image for large version of the photos below. Photos by B. Tracy Madison.