When Greg Grissom took the stage at La Casa Sena Cantina to sing “The Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera, he was unhurried, sidling up beside the piano, at once comfortable in the spotlight. Grissom’s voice was a rich baritone, and as he sang, the song was expressive and dignified, never descending into melodrama — which would be easy, given the hyperemotionality of the tune. Grissom’s easy confidence was mesmerizing. He understood how to tease tension and narrative from the song, using gesture, expression, and his clear, soaring voice.
A resident of Santa Fe for nearly 30 years, Grissom died on March 30, at 56. He was born in Waco, Texas, and educated at the University of Texas and Baylor University. When he arrived in Santa Fe in the 1980s, Grissom quickly became a fixture at the Cantina. In 2003, with Linda and Neal Krull, he founded Stars Never Fade Productions, which produced musical variety shows at the Cantina, the Santa Fe Playhouse, Vanessie, and other venues around Santa Fe.