Chris Kase

Primary Instrument: Trumpet

Born: January 31, 1964    

Chris Kase

Chris Kase (b. 1964, New Brunswick, NJ) is a jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist, composer and educator who has resided in Madrid, Spain since 1997. He has performed and/or recorded with many well known jazz artists such as: The Mingus Big Band, Adam Nussbaum, Kenny Wheeler, Bob Mintzer, The Bird of Paradise Orchestra, Steve Coleman, Chick Corea, Steve Wilson, Al Foster, Grant Stewart, Bruce Barth, Jacob Sacks, David Berkman, Perico Sambeat, Iñaki Salvador, Jorge Pardo and Don Braden, among others. Presently, Chris maintains an active performance schedule throughout Spain. He is professor of trumpet and improvisation at Musikene, the Superior Conservatory of Music in San Sebastián. He has recorded seven albums as a leader. The most recent entitled My Private Circus was released by Errabal at the end of 2012, just months after the release of Six, an ambitious sextet project, named one of the top five jazz discs of 2012 in Spain by the magazine Cuadernos de Jazz, as was Ode (2008) in 2009. His method book, Twenty-first Century Technique, is a collection of variations on the exercises of H.L. Clarke and was published by Balquhidder Music in 2006. His arrangements for trumpet ensemble and rhythm section have been published by Triplo Press and Quintessential Brass Repertoire....
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His talent as a composer has been recognized by the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) Biennial Jazz Composers Competition (2001 & 2003), the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (1991 ASCAP Competition for Young Composers; Popular Awards panel grants since 1991; ASCAP/IAJE Dizzy Gillespie Commissions, 1997), the Michigan Council for the Arts, Billboard Magazine and the John Lennon Song Writing Contest.
In his detailed liner notes trumpeter Chris Kase attempts to shed some light on the technical considerations behind the compositions on his latest release, Nine Easy Pieces. And it is true that there is a lot of meat in his writing; but what really makes this album succeed is the easygoing manner in which all participants navigate music that, while complex and considered at its core, sounds deceptively simple. Lester Young once said, “Can you sing me a song?” and clearly Kase can. He has a warm and inviting tone on both trumpet and flugelhorn and his playing demonstrates a lyrical elegance that makes every solo, every motif eminently singable. Whether it be on the brooding “Dark Interval,” improvising around a brief 6/4 piano-bass motif, or on the more compositionally rich “Número tres,” Kase creates melodies which linger in the memory. And speaking of rich compositions, Kase is another example of a contemporary writer who explores more extended compositional form, avoiding the tune-solo-tune format and, instead, creating a broader framework which still allows the group ample opportunity to stretch out. Remarkably, the group’s improvisations are so thoughtfully constructed that it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between the written and extemporized.-John Kelman, ALL ABOUT JAZZ

* * * * * To include Kenny Wheeler in a band in which the leader is also a trumpet player is to establish a level of perfection so high that it could deeply damage his own credibility. Chris Kase has created an encounter for his second Spanish release that is always collaborative, never antagonistic. [A Song We Once Knew] is a disc in which the first measures establish an atmosphere -in this case, one of warm melancholy- that moves the listener spellbound toward its conclusion. Excellent. -Ángel Gómez Aparicio, MÁS JAZZ

[Te espero aqui] is one of twenty essential compact discs to get oneself into Spanish jazz.-EL PAÍS, July 2004

* * * * Extraordinary 'business card' from trumpeter Chris Kase. The most attention-getting aspect of [Te espero aqui] is the revelation of Kase as a composer with fresh ideas, lyricism, and harmonic and rhythmic inventiveness.-Jorge Garcia, CUADERNOS DE JAZZ

* * * * [On Starting Now] Kase has surrounded himself with some of the best players on the contemporary scene, including saxophonist Bob Mintzer and drummer Adam Nussbaum. There's great potential and present mastery here and the jazz world at large ought to be paying more attention in the not too distant future.-Michael G. Nastos, ANN ARBOR NEWS

Aside from the joy of discovering Kase as an instrumentalist and composer whose tunes swing hard and eschew the cliches that predominate so much of today's 'retro-bop,' saxophonist Mintzer, normally associated with more commercial offerings, turns in a fully satisfying straight-ahead performance.- THE SARATOGIAN

  • Nine Easy Pieces

    Satchmo Jazz Records

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Primary Instrument:

Moralzarzal, Madrid

Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.

Professor of Jazz Trumpet, Musikene (Superior Music Conservatory of the Basque Country), San Sebastián

I am a Conn-Selmer Artist using Vincent Bach Stradivarius instruments exclusively. Tpt. m'pce: Greg Black Custom Flgh. m'pce: Bach 3BFL Cornet m'pce: Denis Wick 2B

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CD/LP/Track Review

Nine Easy Pieces by John Kelman

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