Born: January 31, 1964 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
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, 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. Ode (2008) was named one of the top five jazz discs of 2009 in Spain by the magazine Cuadernos de Jazz. 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 Quinessential Brass Repertoire.
Since 1994, more than seventy of Kase’s original compositions have been recorded and released. His talent as a composer has been recognized by the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) Biennial Jazz Composers Competition (Third Prize in 2003 for his composition Epic Ballad and Second Prize in 2001 for Mystery Waltz), the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (honorable mention, 1991 ASCAP Competition for Young Composers; Popular Awards panel grants since 1991; Honorable Mention, ASCAP/IAJE Dizzy Gillespie Commissions, 1997), the Michigan Council for the Arts, Billboard Magazine (two Honorable Mentions in 1991, one Honorable Mention in 1992) and the John Lennon Song Writing Contest (Honorable Mention, 2004). His arrangements have been performed and recorded by the Orquestra de Cambra del Teatre Lliure (Barcelona), Creativa Jazz Orchestra, Bird of Paradise Orchestra, the Musikene Big Band and the Bob Sands Big Band.
Kase was one of fifteen trumpeters chosen from all over the world to participate in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition, held in Washington, DC in 1997. The Chris Kase Quartet won the 1990 Ypsilanti (MI) Heritage Jazz Festival Competition and reached the Mid-Western semi-finals of the 1991 Hennessey Cognac Jazz Search.
He has taught Master Classes and workshops in trumpet, improvisation, ensemble and jazz composition in the U.S. at the University of Connecticut and the University of Michigan, and in Spain at Escola Superior de Música de Cataluña; Conservatorio Maestro Jaime López, Murcia; Estudio Escola de Música (Santiago de Compostela); Creativa Jazz Workshop at Universidad Carlos III (Madrid); 5th Annual Jazz and Flamenco Seminar (Sevilla); 4th Annual Jazz Seminar (Zarautz); Académia Progreso Musical (Madrid); Canjazz in Cangas (Galicia); Annual Trumpet Seminar in Paiporta (Valencia); Curso Academia Alto Rendimiento in Ontinyent (Valencia); XIV Seminario Internacional de Jazz y Música Latina (Valencia). From 1997-2004 he taught trumpet, improvisation and ensemble at the Escuela de Música Creativa in Madrid.
Kase studied at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, where he earned a Bachelor of Music Degree (cum laude) in 1985, and had the opportunity to perform with Chick Corea. He then went on to earn a Master of Music degree in Classical Trumpet Performance at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, where he was a student of and graduate assistant to the late Natalo Paella. His trumpet teachers include jazz recording artists Mike Metheny, Jack Walrath, Laurie Frink, Greg Hopkins, Laurie Frink, Ralph Alessi and Randy Brecker as well as Madrid Symphony Orchestra former principal trumpet Lluís González Martí. In 1991 he participated in the Jazz Workshop at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada where he was a student of jazz greats Kenny Wheeler, Rufus Reid and Bunky Green, and performed with Wheeler and Steve Coleman.
While living in New York City (1992-97), Chris was instructor of trumpet and music theory at the Mannes College of Music as well as at the New School for Social Research Jazz and Contemporary Music Program. His years in New York provided him with the opportunity to play in such recognized jazz clubs as: Time Café, Visiones, Five Spot, Small’s, Metronome and Cornelia Street Café.
Chris is a Conn-Selmer Artist and uses Vincent Bach Stradivarius instruments exclusively.
Awards:His talent as a composer has been recognized by the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) Biennial Jazz Composers Competition, 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.
* * * * * 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
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Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
Professor of Jazz Trumpet, Musikene (Superior Music Conservatory of the Basque Country), San Sebastián