Born: May 3, 1959
Chris Jentsch (guitar) is a recording and performing artist working primarily in jazz and contemporary improvisational forms. Based in Brooklyn since 1999, his main ensemble is Jentsch Group in its trio, quartet, or large configurations.
Jentsch is also a composer of jazz and concert music having been awarded grants/commissions from NY State Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, the Composers Assistance Program of the American Music Center (2), American Composers Forum (2), Maelstrom Percussion Ensemble, and Penfield Commission Project.
Jentsch’s first CD Media Event was released in 1998 and features his working trio from that era. His second CD Miami Suite (1999) presents original works for large jazz ensemble. His third CD featuring the ACF-commissioned Brooklyn Suite is slated for a Spring 2007 release on Fleur De Son Records....
AwardsTo be featured in Scott Yanow’s new book, The Great Guitarists (2013 Hal Leonard).
“In its scope and detail and eternally recurring inner logic, Cycles Suite may be the Finnegans Wake of big-band jazz. …a moving and elegiac journey through complex emotional terrain.” - Richard Gehr (from the liner notes)
Chris Jentsch's seven-part homage to his home borough (Brooklyn Suite) is at once grandly orchestral and strikingly personal. The entire band seems to radiate from Jentsch's pensive guitar pulse, blending jazz, classical and rock ideas into a multidimensional reflection of everyday life. - Forrest Dylan Bryant, Jazz Times
Chris Jentsch's Brooklyn Suite (is) a complex-yet-highly rewarding suite for 18-piece ensemble. Jentsch's ambitiousness pays off with a work that, while at times bordering on the modal and even atonal, ends up overall as an accessible album that will also appeal to crossover audiences due to the guitarist's fondness for the rock music aesthetic. - Graham L. Flanagan (AllAboutJazz)
“Chris Jentsch's Brooklyn Suite was one of last year's most satisfyingly ambitious jazz efforts.” - Richard Gehr (Village Voice)
“Brooklyn Suite (is) Chris Jentsch's sublime set of interwoven themes and expansive movements for guitar and orchestra…(and) is the expression of a refreshingly practical, adept and adaptable artist, one in full command of attractive, original concepts as well as the skill, discipline and insight to create compelling experiences in sound.” - Howard Mandel (from the liner notes)
“Nice guitar work from the leader…the big band writing is tight, conceptually ambitious, packed with monster solos.” - David Adler
His recent composition Brooklyn Suite is an ambitious and important work. It is written...for a large jazz ensemble which functions musically and even texturally like a symphony orchestra. There are various soloists involved but these pieces are not concertos, or merely jazz tunes with improvisations, as much as they are orchestral in nature. Chris’ work in this format is very sophisticated and bridges the gap between formal classical music and contemporary jazz. His further exploration and development of this genre is something that I look forward to with interest. - David Frost (multiple Classical Grammy Award-winning producer)
Brooklyn SuiteFleur De Son
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Willing to teach:
Teaching since 1990. Jentsch attended the Berklee College of Music and holds liberal arts and jazz guitar degrees from Gettysburg College, the New England Conservatory, and the Eastman School of Music. He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Composition from the University of Miami in 1999 and is published by the University of Northern Colorado Press, Advance Music, and Fleur de Son Records. Available to teach in New York City, particularly in Brooklyn. ChrisJentsch.com for more information.
Topics: My Three Prong Approach to Jazz Improvisation, How to Learn Tunes, How to Get Grants, Jazz Guitar