Grenoldo Frazier


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Posted by Grenoldo Frazier on October 19, 2010 at 2:24 PM Comments comments (54)

"...Grenoldo and his band sound like a combination of Earth Wind and Fire and Valen Halen!"

Rock N' Roll Confidential

"Outstanding, fine work..."

Hollywood Reporter

"One of the strongest performances is turned in by the musical director Grenoldo Frazier.  Playing the tunes Bill Robinson used, Mr. Frazier variously pounds a ramshackle piano, leads a band up in a balcony and belts out Minnie the Moocher in a fine gravelly voice."

New York Times

"In a time when education is falling all around, Grenoldo Frazier has a technique that really works. 

Amsterdam News

Mr. Harris is on firmer dramatic ground when dealing with his local characters, especially the owner of the juke joint (Denise Burse-Mickelbury) and her blind pianist (Grenoldo Frazier). These two (actors as well as characters) are so vivid as they banter with each other that they almost run away with the show. Ms. Burse-Micklebury is insouciant about her fondness for Johnson and his songs, while Mr. Frazier spices the performance with his piano playing. In a quick turn, he amusingly demonstrates the differences between Texas, East Arkansas and Tennessee music.



New York Times

Review/Theater; Out of the Blues, a Legendary Singer

By Mel Gussow

February 25, 1993

"The star of the show is Frazier.  He teases, pounds, seduces and cajoles his piano like a man in the midst of a religious conversion.  His voice is expressive, yet still booming and authoritative. Most important, he evinces an obvious mastery of a very large chunk of the Ellington catalog.  Frazier commands this fine production from the first note to the last.  (But he looks nothing like Duke Ellington; he looks just like Count Basie.)

Paul Kopasz

Leo Weekly newspaper

Louisville, KY

“He can play anything that’s ever been written, and his real ability is the fact that he creates true theater out of the simple elements of a man and a piano.  If he’s got an audience, he’s going to rev it up and have a great show.” 

Scott Simpson,

WHQR producer

Quoted in Star News

February 3, 2005

“With his flair for making the difficult look easy and a voice that could soothe the most raging lion, Grenoldo Frazier seems to enjoy performing more than ever.”

Zach Hanner, Reviewer

Star News

February 3, 2005

“Williams (Samm-Art) and Frazier explore a lot of musical styles, giving the show variety.  The swinging Fish Fry is the one with legs, but Cephus’ touching solo, Not What I Seem, accomplishes the central task of musical theater: revealing character more effectively through song than through dialogue.”


Judith Newmark – Post-Dispatch Theater Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 21, 2004



"With a performance ranging from Broadway to television to movies, Frazier has been termed a “music phenomenon,” blending his encyclopedic knowledge of music with his talents as a vocalist and pianist.  His spirited presentation covers African American music from its inception through the 20th century, jazz, rag time, early rock and roll, musical theater, and the great American songbook.


On stage, he played Barnaby Tucker in Pearl Bailey’s version of Hello, Dolly! on Broadway, Phineas T. Barnswallow in the first Sesame Street Live production of “A Sesame Street Mystery: The Case of the Missing Rara Avis,” and was the voice of one of the Anything Muppets singing “Disco D” on the Sesame Street TV program.


Included in his other credits are the revue Billy, Lena, and The Duke: A Night of Ellington Music and off-Broadway play Moms starring Clarice Taylor as Moms Mabley for which he served as musical director and additional composer while playing the supporting role of Luther.


His television credits include episodic appearances on the soap opera One Life to Live and American Gothic.

Felicia Brown Haywood

University of Pennsylvania/Harrisburg

"Grenoldo Frazier is crazy good. He is write-it-down-and-tell-your-grandchildren-you-saw-him good. And for two very special days University Scholars will have an opportunity to hear this master perform.

Honors Program

North Carolina State University



"Anybody who’s ever seen or heard the multi-faceted Mr. Frazier will not be surprised by his marvelous piano playing, vocal range, performance and passion on this 10-song, 45 minute CD, taken from two live shows last winter at Water Street Restaurant.  A talented musician, composer, dramatist and director, he played Otis Redding in the European tour of Body and Soul and the blind pianist in the off-Broadway and Atlanta productions of Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil, so you know right away this is the real deal you’re listening to.


On Live at Water Street, Mr. Frazier skillfully maneuvers through show tunes, old blues standards, ragtime and even a Peggy Lee impersonation on the rousing Fever.  He hammers the keys and scats his way through a rousing rendition of Cole Porter’s It’s All Right With Me, then slips into a Going to Chicago Blues/Sweet Home Chicago medley.  He displays great vocal range on the Turner Layton/Henry Creamer piece, After You’ve Gone, then ends the CD with the George and Ira Gershwin classic, They Can’t Take That Away from Me.  

Have You Heard?

by Lee Roberts

Sunday Star News

July 13, 1997