Eric "Kraz" Krasno is a New York-based Grammy-winning guitarist, songwriter, recording artist, and producer best known for his work with Soulive and Lettuce, both of which he co-founded. His own musical roots lie in funk, jazz, rock, and hip-hop, and he has written songs and produced records for a variety of artists in a range of genres including Norah Jones, Aaron Neville, Talib Kweli, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Ledisi, 50 Cent, and Matisyahu.
Krasno was raised in the suburbs of New York City, and in Fairfield County, Connecticut. His earliest influences were his musician grandfather, a professional pianist who played gypsy jazz and swing, as well as his older brother and father, also accomplished musicians though amateurs. His early attraction to classic rock records from Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jeff Beck, and Grateful Dead influenced his decision to become a guitarist. He began playing in local bands during high school. After graduating, he attended the Berklee School of Music for one semester before transferring to Hampshire College. Despite its brevity, it was at Berklee that he encountered other founding members of the funk/jam unit Lettuce during a summer program. The band formed while its members were still in their teens and have been a going concern in both the studio and on concert stages since then. In 1999, he joined brothers Alan and Neal Evans, and Sam Kininger, to co-found Soulive, a jazz/hip-hop/folk/groove unit that recorded for several labels including Blue Note and, like Lettuce, they're known for a rigorous touring schedule.
Krasno began his career as a producer on Kweli's Quality in 2002. His reputation spread among hip-hop artists, and under various monikers he worked with a variety of rappers including Redman and Pharoah Monche, and R&B, jazz, pop, and rock artists including Keyshia Cole, Allen Stone, Dave Matthews Band, Justin Timberlake, and Nigel Hall. As a guitarist, Krasno's work has graced albums and tours by everyone from the Beatnuts, Snoop Dog, and Sonya Kitchell to Vieux Farka Toure, Christian McBride, Joshua Redman, and Dr. Lonnie Smith.
Krasno issued Reminisce, his debut solo album in 2010 on SOI, and toured with his own group while continuing to play and record with Lettuce and Phil Lesh & Friends. His sophomore offering, Blood from a Stone, was released in July 2016 through Feel Records. It was preceded by the singles "Waiting for Your Love" and "On the Rise." The latter set showcased his lead vocals for the first time alongside his playing and songwriting. Krasno and his road sextet toured throughout the summer supporting Dumpstaphunk. The same year, he produced Neville's Apache album. The studio band he enlisted included members of Lettuce, Soulive, the Dap Kings, and Budos Band. ~ Thom Jurek