Sami Grisafe is not afraid of obstacles. In fact, she welcomes them…for they made her the person she is today. The all-star quarterback for the Chicago Force and talented singer-songwriter has managed to succeed in two of her life’s passions, sports and music. As she wraps up her final season playing professional women’s tackle football for the Chicago Force and Team USA, Grisafe will go down in history as the first female in the state of California to play the quarterback position in a varsity Division I football game and the first female to throw a touchdown pass in a world championship tournament. On October 2nd,she will be inducted into the Redlands High School Athletic Hall of Fame in Redlands, California, joining past inductee Brian Billick. But as one door closes, the other door opens wider for this athlete and award winning musician. Grisafe, who has dedicated most of her time to football, can now focus on her music career, something that has always had half of her attention. As soon as the season wraps, Grisafe will head back into the studio to prepare for the fall release and music video of her upcoming single “Be Somebody.” Grisafe grew up in Redlands, California where she chartered new territory as a female athlete. Besides playing football since age ten, she played baseball for nine years and became the first girl in her community to make a boy’s baseball All-Star team. It was also at age ten that Grisafe taught herself how to play guitar, but wanting to be unique, diverted her focus to the ukulele. She tagged along as her parent’s performed with their country group Two of Hearts at state fairs, parties and weddings all over California. Grisafe’s parents inspired her to get involved in theater. She won first place in a state monologue competition which ultimately led to an acting scholarship to Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Inspired by musicians like Janis Joplin, Dave Grohl, and the Counting Crows, Grisafe’s music has a folk-rock feel with provocative lyrics, often incorporating additional styles such as reggae, blues and rap. She earned six Grammy pre-nominations for her 2012 album ATLANTIS, and in 2013 received the Chicago Music Award for “Best Rock Entertainer.” Grisafe has performed at the RedGorilla Fest and OUTlander Fest during SXSW and iconic venues such as Chicago’s Metro, Double Door, Cubby Bear and City Winery. Grisafe gained national attention for her performance of the National Anthem prior to taking the field at the 2013 IFAF Women’s World Championship gold medal game. The Huffington Post called her performance “…one of the most inspiring versions of the Star-Spangled Banner we’ve ever heard.” The unforgettable rendition is featured in two documentaries and was performed at the request of Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn, for the marriage equality bill signing. As a proud member of the LGBTQ community, Grisafe is in the process of recording her new album beginning with a new song, “Brand New Fairy Tale,” as a show of support for equal rights among all people in marriage.
GRACEFULLY by Award-Winning nationally touring artist, Eric Himan, brings the songwriter/acoustic guitarist to a brand new place: the piano bench. After releasing and selling his music (over 40,000 cds sold independently) through his record label, Thumbcrown Records, licensing original music to MTV, E!, and heavy rotation on satellite radio (SiriusXM’s The Coffeehouse), Eric delivers his latest, GRACEFULLY, his most ambitious album to date. Well known for writing and performing on the acoustic guitar, GRACEFULLY is the first full album written and recorded with Eric on piano. A horn section, a new element in his recordings, was brought in and arranged by saxophonist, Ryan Tedder, with Dave Johnson on trumpet. This album has one last feature: the album was fully funded through his listeners via the crowd-sourcing website, PledgeMusic. Eric was able to bring in some heavy hitters such as drummer, Brandon Holder (current drummer for Leon Russell) and bassist Matt Hayes (Jacob Fred Jazz Odessey, Wayne Newton) thanks to the support of his many generous listeners. This album was recorded in Eric’s hometown of Tulsa, OK by Rockwell Ripperger (of the platinum selling band, Stephen Speaks) and Brandon Holder, mixed by Ripperger, and mastered by the grammy-award winning Chris Bellman (Alanis Morissette, Ani DiFranco, Katy Perry) at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Los Angeles, CA. A collection of songs gathered throughout the past three years, GRACEFULLY holds elements of pop, soul, rock, R&B, and even a bit of a latin feel with its entrance, RED HOT TEARS. WAITING FOR THUNDER inspired by the story of Malala Yousafzai, the 14 year old Pakistani student who was shot by the Taliban for promoting girls’ education, brings the rock genre into light on GRACEFULLY. Other highlights of the album are the gospel tinged, HOW CAN YOU SLEEP?, bringing back the horn section for a swinging tale of love on its way out, the pop-driven-perfect-for-a-sunday-morning, EVERYTHING TO YOU, and the title track, GRACEFULLY, a tribute to Eric’s grandmother, Grace, who raised Eric with his grandfather and father. Grace who passed away last Fall at the age of 97, led a full life of motherhood, a careers in photography, and at one time, a colorist for DC Comics in the 1930′s. Smiling from the cover art of this new record, Grace gives the stamp of approval for the grandson she encouraged artistically as Eric puts it ” to live life like you taught me, GRACEFULLY”.