Primary Instrument: Guitar
Corey Christiansen grew up in a musical family. His father, Mike Christiansen, has run the guitar program at Utah State University for over three decades. Corey spent a lot of his youth with his dad on campus learning about the guitar and music. After high school, Corey received his bachelor’s degree from USU. A year later Corey left for Tampa Florida to study with legendary jazz guitar educator, Jack Petersen. In 1999, Corey received his master’s degree from the University of South Florida and took over the teaching duties of Jack Petersen the next year.
From 2000 to 2007 Corey was the senior editor and main guitar clinician for Mel Bay Publications. This job allowed him to tour, give clinics, develop products, produce recordings and rub shoulders with the best musicians in the business. For seven years Corey gave countless clinics and performances around the world and developed a fan base not only for his teaching but his playing.
In 2007 Corey moved back to his native Utah and was the Director of Curriculum for The Music School, a privately funded music program outside of Salt Lake City. During this time he continued an extremely active touring schedule playing all over the US and into Europe.
In the fall of 2007 Corey signed with Origin Records by the end of Feb. 2008 had two records in the can. Laden with hooks and grooves, Roll With It is Corey’s debut release for Origin and features Matt Jorgensen on drums, Pat Bianchi on organ and David Halliday on sax.
His music draws on the tradition of the masters but leans towards the future. Rooted in the tradition of the jazz language but just bluesy and gritty enough to not alienate larger audiences. Corey’s first two recordings Awakening and MB3: Jazz Hits vol. 1 received ciritical acclaim and found large success on North American radio again proving he has the ability to keep the artistic integrity of the music without pushing listeners away.
In the fall of 2008 Corey assumed duties teaching full-time at Utah State University and will part-time at Indiana University where he’ll be pioneering the jazz guitar program. Even with a busy academic schedule, Corey still tours and continues to record.
Corey Christiansen has a number of publications with Mel Bay and has conducted countless guitar clinics and concerts across the country and beyond including Europe, South Africa and Australia. He has also performed at many notable festivals and venues including John Pisano's Guitar Night in Los Angeles, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, the Clearwater Jazz Festival, the Daytona Beach Jazz Festival, the Classic American Guitar Show, and the St. Louis Jazz Festival. He has also performed and/or recorded with many outstanding jazz artists including Jimmy Bruno, John Pisano, James Moody, Joe Negri, Willie Akins, Chuck Redd, Sid Jacobs, Jack Wilkins, Christian McBride, George Duke, Terri Lyne Carrington, Danny Gottlieb, and many, many others.
One of the best jazz guitar records I've heard in a long time. Beautiful playing, beautiful writing, beautiful sound. Joe Diorio
From the first note, Corey Christiansen lights a rhythmic fire that never flickers, punctuating chords with precision and soloing with zeal on this set of inventive originals and standards. Dave Zaworski Downbeat Magazine
Corey Christiansen is the kind of jazz player I like: One who is steeped in the tradition of the great bebop and post bop musicians, but is also very conscious of infusing into it a new and modern style. The language he speaks is not of the 40s and 50s, but very much of our time. And it swings like a runaway train! Great CD! Carl VerHeyen
Christiansen is well versed in the guitar's sonic heritage, and his judicious sense of phrasing finds him light-fingered even on the densest of changes and positively euphoric on his ballad work. Mike Flynn Jazzwise Magazine