Born: May 2, 1988 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Tenor saxophonist Chris Weller, an Oak Park native, began honing his jazz chops as a freshman in high school. Since then, Chris has studied with Frank Tiberi, Scott Hesse, Russ Nolan, Shannon Le Claire, and Ted Hogarth. He has shared the stage with numerous highly acclaimed jazz artists, including Ramsey Lewis, Ken Chaney, Jeremey Kahn, Jim Snidero, Russ Nolan, Scott Hesse, and Jim Gailloreto. His groups have also opened for Grammy-winner Kurt Elling and Grammy-nominee Patricia Barber. Starting in high school, Chris began attending jam sessions in Chicago at the legendary Velvet Lounge, New Apartment Lounge, Hot House, and Jazz it Cafe. Aside from all the songs and jazz vocabulary he learned at these sessions, Chris had the opportunity to play along side some of the top musicians in the city, including Corey Wilkes, Maurice Brown, Scott Hesse, Ari Brown, Ernest Dawkins, Charles “Rick” Heath, Kobe Watkins, Justin Dillard, Isaiah Spencer, Greg Ward, Von Freeman, and many more. As his skills began to develop, he started to play at different venues in the Chicago-land area- i.e. the 28th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival, Millennium Park, Chicago Cultural Center, Hilton Hotel, Inter Continental Hotel, Hot House, Union League, Jazz Showcase, Morseland, Chicago Firehouse Restaurant, Townhouse Restaurant, People Lounge, Fitzgeralds, Jazz It Café, to name a few. Currently, Chris is studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, for a degree in Music Performance.
“Chris Weller has a great musical future ahead of him. It's not only rare that someone his age has great command over the saxophone, but he also has the musicality and soul behind it.” - Russ Nolan
“Chris Weller is a fantastic musician! He not only plays music with great ability and care, he cherishes the history and strives to build on it as well. Chris’s respect for the masters is evident in his big, broad tenor sound and his creative, melodic improvisations. Listening to Chris is a lesson in Jazz history and a look into the future.” - Ted Hogarth, Musician and Educator
“Jazz music has got to have that thing. You have to be born with it. You can’t even buy it. If you could buy it, they’d have it at the next Newport festival.” (Miles Davis) “From the very first moment I heard Chris Weller play, I knew this was a person who was born with it! It is truly wonderful to have an opportunity to hear a remarkable musician perform at such a young age. You can’t help but to sit and wonder, “My goodness, this kid is only 18 years old, what will his music sound like by the time he is 21?” Be sure to check him out now while you can. I predict one day, in the not-too-distant future, we will all be standing in line trying to get tickets to one of his performances.” - Camille Wilson White, Executive Director, Oak Park Area Arts Council
“Chris is easily one of the most promising young horn players in town: his playing is a sure sign of great things to come.” - Jason Patera, co-founder of Caltera School; Music Department Head, The Chicago Academy for the Arts
Oak Park, IL
Willing to teach:
Available for teaching saxophone and improvisation lessons. Contact Chris if interested.