Primary Instrument: Guitar
Chris Vasi arrived in Richmond, VA in 1995 with a music degree from University of Buffalo. He has been teaching guitar since 1988. Chris has a love for many different kinds of music and is currently performing a variety of styles, including modern and vintage jazz, rock, funk, latin, and blues. Chris can be seen around town playing with Hotel X, Monk's Playground, and Eastern Question. He has recorded 12 CDs over the years, and played over a thousand gigs from Canada to Florida, including clubs, colleges, and receptions. Chris plays acoustic nylon- and steel- string guitar, electric guitar, bottleneck slide, mandolin, bass, and percussion. His original compositions have been played by the Jazz Composers Alliance and his music has appeared in Guitar Player magazine. Chris has performed onstage with Moe Tucker (Velvet Underground) and members of moe. (NY jamband). His first CD with Crumbs of Insanity was produced by Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips). In 2003 Vasi released Moon Over Mars, an album of acoustic instrumentals. Some dynamite new music by HOTEL X can be heard at hotelxband.com. August 2009 saw the release of the VESUVIUS album of 9 songs featuring the jazz/world music quartet with Drex Weaver (drums & percussion), Carter Blough (bass), and Roberto Curtis (saxophones).
In July 2012 Vasi released the CD Monk's Playground :
Thelonious Monk’s knotty little compositions are as easy to recognize as they are tricky to navigate. The appropriately named Monk’s Playground approaches these idiosyncratic constructs as an opportunity for swinging, sliding, spinning, gymnastic musical fun. (Peter McElhinney, Style Weekly)
Guitarist Chris Vasi has long been enchanted by the music of Thelonious Monk. (He is not alone in this.) After spending time working up solo-guitar arrangements, ideas for an ensemble began to blossom. By sometimes altering the melody or the timing, or re-interpreting the songs through different harmonic and rhythmic modifications, the songs were transformed and re-imagined. The use of electric guitar, instead of piano, also takes the music in a new direction.
Vasi is joined by saxophonists Lou Hoff and Jonathan Gibson, drummer Forrest Young, and bassist Jonathan Wheelock for this enjoyable collection of new arrangements of Monk tunes, as well as the over-100-year-old melody Kojo No Tsuki (Monk recorded it as Japanese Folk Song) and the group-improvised abstraction Almost Didn't.
This album serves as a veneration, with gratitude for one of American music's greatest geniuses. It's also a ton of fun.
VESUVIUS (2010): One of the best world-jazz recordings of the year: Latin, West African, funk, and bop elements in a tasty blend. -- (Global A Go Go host Bill Lupoletti, WRIR-FM Richmond)
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Guitar instructor since 1988. All levels. Contact for lessons: firstname.lastname@example.org