Nominated for Instrumental Artist of the Year – 19th Annual LA Music Awards
2010 Nominee – Instrumental Artist of the Year – 20th Annual LA Music Awards
Playing an instrument did not posses any appeal to me until my older cousin Justin began to play the bass. It was he who coined the nickname “the guy,” to avoid any confusion between me, and my father, also named Christopher.
alpha-bitsMy desire to play became overwhelming after a dream in which Justin and I were jamming. I had never picked up a guitar, but in this particular dream I was a complete virtuoso. The ease with which I navigated the fretboard was awe-inspiring.
As I awoke the reality that I had no idea how to play the guitar gradually came into focus. Yet I was, from that point on, completely obsessed with the instrument.
First GuitarI received my first guitar as a Christmas present when I was 9 years old.
During my summer vacations I attended the National Guitar Summer Workshop (now NGW), and studied with; Terry Syrek, Matt Smith, Tobias Horowitz, Dennis McCumber, and David Hamburger.
Interestingly, it was here (at about 12) that I formed life-long friendships with other like-minded guitar-nerds with whom I would later attend Berklee.
Just before I enrolled in Berklee College of Music I studied with Jim Hall . I remember our first lesson well. I was anxious as the elevator ascended the stories to his apartment in the west village. When the door opened there stood Jim with his dog in his arms. “This is Django,” he said “he’s just gong to listen.”
While at Berklee, my musical voice and philosophy were heavily influenced by Julien Kasper and Kenwood Dennard. Julien stressed the importance of groove, tone, melody, as well as, embracing the nuances of the instrument as the main priorities of a composer/guitarist.
After one of the first classes as guitarist for Kenwood’s Jimi Hendrix Ensemble, I began regularly skipping Art History 2 in preference of jamming with the eccentric legend at his weekly Metejam sessions. Kenwood espoused a hyper-awareness of what was going on around us during these (collective) improvisation sessions.
Since graduation in 2005, I have been composing, recording, teaching, and traveling to places near and far, playing an ever-evolving brand of instrumental music.