Meet Chris


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Based in NYC, Chris performs with the Birdland Big Band, Dick Oatts, Randy Brecker, and Troy Roberts to name a few.

Chris has a doctorate in Jazz and is Professor of Jazz Drums at KUG, University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz,Austria.

A jazz fanatic, Chris is the author of Mel Lewis' biography "The View from the Back of the Band".


Recent performances include the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Dick Oatts Quintet, Troy Roberts, Andrew Gould Quartet, and Randy Brecker. When in New York City I perform with the Birdland Big Band, come catch us Fridays 5:30-7pm. It’s an amazing big band performing in one of the world's best venues. At Birdland alone I perform for about 10,000 jazz fans each year. Additionally, my performance schedule stays busy with work in venues such as The Blue Note, Smalls, Chicago Jazz Festival, Telluride Jazz Festival, Dizzy’s Club, and the Jazz Showcase. With my teaching position in Austria I also look forward to performing more regularly in Europe. To catch a performance check out my schedule page.

I absolutely love to teach. In March 2022 I began a new role as Professor of Jazz Drums at University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. The opportunity to be a full-time teacher of talented students and work with a world-class faculty is a dream come true. I will be in Graz inspiring generations of students for many years to come. My higher education teaching experience includes undergraduate and graduate level drum set, jazz history, music business, jazz pedagogy, rhythm section workshop, jazz ensembles, percussion ensemble, and orchestral percussion. Past appointments as a clinician and lecturer include the University of American Library in Paris, University of Wyoming, Temple University, and University of North Texas. I have a Bachelor in Jazz from Northern Illinois University, a Master in Jazz from Manhattan School of Music, and a Doctorate of Arts from the University of Northern Colorado.

My passion for jazz history led me to write The View from the Back of the Band: The Life and Music of Mel Lewis. The book is published by the UNT Press and available here in paperback and e-book. Telling the story of legendary drummer Mel Lewis the book is a comprehensive resource combining meticulous biographical information, a discography, drum transcriptions and analyses, original interviews, and never before published photographs and memoirs of Mel.


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