Primary Instrument: Saxophone
One of the country's foremost woodwind artists, Chris Vadala is in demand as a Jazz/Classical performer and educator. He has appeared on more than ninety recordings to date as well as innumerable jingle sessions, film and TV scores performing on all the saxophones, flutes and clarinets. A native of Poughkeepsie, New York he graduated from the Eastman School of Music earning the honor of the Performer's Certificate in saxophone as well as a B.M. in Music Education and received an M.A. in clarinet from Connecticut College. His teachers have included William Osseck of the Rochester Philharmonic, renowned classical saxophonist Donald Sinta and jazz great Phil Woods.
Professor Vadala is currently Director of Jazz Studies and Professor of Saxophone at the University of Maryland, College Park. Previous academic appointments include teaching studio woodwinds and conducting Jazz ensembles at Montgomery College, Connecticut College and Hampton University, as well as serving as Visiting Associate Professor of Saxophone at the Eastman School of Music. He is also President of the Maryland Unit of the International Association of Jazz Educators.
Mr. Vadala's performing career has been highlighted by a long tenure as standout woodwind artist with the internationally recognized Chuck Mangione Quartet which included performances around the world and performing credits on five gold and two platinum albums, plus one Emmy and two Grammy Awards. As one of The Selmer Company's most requested clinicians, Mr. Vadala travels worldwide performing with and conducting student and professional Jazz ensembles, symphonic bands and orchestras. Within just the past few years alone he has appeared at over 200 high schools and colleges across the nation and Canada!
Mr. Vadala's column on woodwind doubling appears regularly in Saxophone Journal and he has authored articles for many other magazines. He has been a Downbeat magazine poll finalist in four categories, the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Study grant and has published a number of original compositions and arrangements. His book, Improve Your Doubling, published by Dorn productions is acclaimed as a valuable addition to woodwind literature.
Chris Vadala has taken songs that have survived over the years and presents them with a lyrical passion that is as old as, in some cases as the songs themselves, but also fresh and now. You will get so involved listening in to Out of the Shadows that you will not want it to end.
Tony Mowad - Pittsburgh Jazz Society
As the woodwind guru of the acclaimed Chuck Mangione Band for years, Chris Vadala has truly developed a great reputation. He is currently a Professor at the University of MD, an in-demand clinician for the Selmer Co., and an absolutely outstanding person. I have had this CD now for about 8 months...and it rarely stays in it's case for more than a day or two. The versatility that Mr. Vadala brings to the table on this album is remarkable. His sound, especially on the sax (alto/tenor/and soprano), is truly an example of mastering one's instrument. After having the pleasure of meeting him at clinic's for my high school jazz band, and hearing this man play, I recommend this album without reservation. You will not be disapointed...that is, if you love and appreciate great music!
Paul Latanishen - Dundalk, MD
This is not a CD, it is a performance that you wished would never end. Mr. Vadala does it all on Tenor, Alto, Soprano, and Flute, from Original to Classic Jazz, and if he isn't blowing you away, he's breaking your heart. The first cut, Out of the Shadows, written by Chris Vadala, involves some wonderful haunting instrumentalism and a lot of fresh ideas, all of which bring you in to the performance itself. Club Contrafact is just awesome. The flute pieces are are a great surprise, too, and contribute to defining the mood of this, at times, very intimate performance. Many times backup just gets lost, but Mr. Vadala brings it out in this CD in a way that makes every one brighter and real.
He plays some very well known and truly wonderful pieces, and makes them all new again and better, if that is possible. In a Sentimental Mood is a favorite that Mr. Vadala transcends with his clarity and emotion. There is a style here that, for the lack of a better word, pulses as it pierces your heart, and then, he takes you for a dance in Sambelissa that is filled with passion, the kind of passion that he brings to this entire album. Quintessence is, possibly, the best piece, but Footprints fits Mr. Vadala's shoes perfectly. He is an absolutely brilliant instrumentalist and Jazz person. Shadows Coda asks you back, even though one didn't want to leave.
Reuben Ryder - Cornwall, NY