J. Anthony Granelli is a native of northern California. He began to study bass at age eight with bassist and musical instrument pioneer Fred Marshall. In his teens Granelli moved to Seattle Washington where he performed with Jay Clayton, Julian Priester and Jerry Granelli while studying at Cornish College of the Arts.
Granelli received a BFA from California Institute of the Arts in 1991. At Cal Arts he explored creating a personal vocabulary of improvisation while studying with Charlie Haden and performing with John Bergamo and Miroslav Tadic.
After moving to Brooklyn New York in 1992 Granelli was very active in the scene that flourished around the Knitting Factory. While in New York he was a founder/ assistant director with Ralph Alessi of the School for Improvised Music an internationally attended program that runs during the summer. Granelli also helped to found and is assistant director of Jerry Granelli’s Creative Music Workshop in Halifax Nova Scotia, which just celebrated it’s twentieth anniversary in 2016. In 2006 Granelli earned a Masters Degree in Jazz Composition from New York University.
In 2000 Granelli started Love Slave Records which released nine critically acclaimed records by his own bands as well as other “downtown” musical luminaries. J. Anthony has been covered in all major Jazz publications as well as various local media outlets. Granelli’s composition “Fortunate Son” plays regularly on NPR as interstitial music. He also composed music for the Fox Searchlight motion picture “Super Troupers” with New York alt Americana star Jack Grace.
J Anthony continues to compose and play in New York City and internationally. He currently leads his own Mr. Lucky Trio as well as Jazz/Reggae band the Gowanus Reggae and Ska Society and plays with numerous local projects. In 2013 Granelli formed the “Shining Clouds of Joy” duo project with Canadian bassist Simon Fiske. In 2014 Granelli was the musical director and arranger for the “Love Love” project with Julian Priester. “Love Love” was performed at the Atlantic Jazz Festival and marked the first time the iconic record was played live in the forty years since its recording. 2016 saw the reuniting of Jerry Granelli’s “Sandhills Reunion” project featuring Rinde Eckert for which J Anthony is musical director.
J Anthony is very pleased to be the musical director on Jerry Granelli’s “Dance Hall” record featuring Bill Frisell and Robben Ford which was released in 2017. The Dance Hall Band toured Canadian and U.S. festivals in the summer of 2018 and featured Robben Ford and Bob Lanzetti on guitars.
In 2019 and 2020 Granelli released "My Pretty Demon" and "End To Begin" with his trio Mr. Lucky. A solo bass album entitled "Why Can't I Be Beautiful Like You" will be released in late 2022.
In 2021 J. Anthony became the artistic director of the Creative Music Workshop in Halifax Nova Scotia. Started over 25 years ago by J.'s father Jerry Granelli, the CMW is a week long intensive that focuses on the art of Improvised music and Dance that runs concurrent with the Atlantic Jazz Festival.
Granelli has performed with:
David Tronzo, Julian Priester, Jay Clayton, Jane Ira Bloom, Mose Allison,Brad Shepik, Francoise Houle, Jerry Granelli, Briggan Krauss, Bill Frisell, Robben Ford, John Abercrombie, Anthony Cox, Ralph Alessi, David Mott, Rinde Eckert, Jamie Saft, Buck 65, Miroslav Tadic, Aaron Alexander, Peter Epstein, John Bergamo, Alicia Svigles, Jamie Haddad, Mike Dillon, Cedric “Im” Brooks, Ohad Talmor, Michael Blake, Dave Douglas, Smokey Hormel, Ben Goldberg, Ned Rothenberg, Andy Laster, John Schott, Anthony Coleman.
J Anthony has studied privately with:
Charlie Haden, Gary Peacock, John Clayton, Joe Bongiorno, Mark Helias,
Gil Goldstein, George Garzone and Mark Dresser.