Born: November 1, 1981 Primary Instrument: Drums
Chris Massey is following his ambition of making a name for himself as a new breed of young talented player in the world of jazz. Growing up in small town Uniontown, Ohio where he picked up his first pair of drumsticks a the age of nine he took his first steps into his musical career as a Jazz Performance major at Youngstown State University in 2000.
During this time he was under the tutelage of local legend Cedric Hobbs who had played with Charlie Bird Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and many other jazz legends of the day. It was during this time where Chris learned that jazz was not a music genre but a state of consciousness. In 2003 Chris began performing with world renounced artists such as former Jazz Messenger Donald Harrison Jr. Since then he has performed with such renowned artists as Dave Holland, Joe Lovano, members of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Birdland Big Band and members of The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra as well as many other great players.
Among performing Chris is also coming into his own as a composer and arranger. Gaining inspiration from notable drummer-composers such as Brian Blade and Jeff Tain Watts; Chris has began composing his first works in early 2001 with his 1st recorded composition piece Gotham Nights performed in 2005. Chris also has been teaching lessons of all age varieties from the skill ranges of beginner to advanced college since 1998.
Chris above all else is a modern drummer taught in the old tradition of swing; his ethos is to put his sound underneath a player and let the fire start to spread. He is currently residing in the New York City area and performing with/leading his modern jazz group The Nue Jazz Project. He has performed in many venues across the city such as Smoke, Cleopatra's Needle, Smalls, Fat Cat, 55bar, The Garage, The Iridium and many others. He currently finished recording his debut album entitled Vibrainium due to be released in Fall 2010.
Here's a creative drummer well in touch with his post bop roots as he circles the rim from Art Blakey to Chick Corea with several well chosen stops in between. A solidly played set by a crew that honors throwing caution to the wind, Massey once again shows he knows his stuff and isn't afraid to try on something 'nue'. A nice ear opener that looks forward and backward with grace all at the same time. - Chris Spector, Editor and Publisher, Midwest Record
After hearing Chris Massey, it's apparent that he has been well-educated and is a very enthusiastic drummer. It is apparent that he listened to some of the great drummers like Max Roach, Roy Haynes. - Delores Ashford, Delores Music Management
Musically, Massey's influences reside firmly in the advanced hardbop of the Blue Note Sixties, another common ground with (Wayne) Shorter. The cerebral connotation in the title and another commonality with Shorter comes through in Massey's clever compositions and arrangements. - Derek Taylor, All About Jazz
For those who have an emphasis on the drums will love the way this guy plays, sometimes playing busy like an Elvin Jones but always dedicated in knowing how intense or delicate to play, like an Art Blakey or Brian Blade. - John Book, Journalist/Editor/Publisher This is Books Music
Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
Chris Massey has taught various age groups from 5years old to 60 years old in a variety of group and private settings. His approach to lessons is an adaptable one based on the individual. Some students require more of a strict structure while others can handle a more "hands off" approach to their learning. If you are a beginning student as with all things in life you must learn to walk before you can run. So after 3-6 months of lessons with Chris you will have a good starting foundation to rhythm and music to put you on the path to being an excellent drummer. For those of you who are intermediate to early advanced levels...there will be lessons on the "Why" as well as the "How"...philosophical and theoretical concepts behind drumming are as important as physical concepts when it comes to having your own unique voice behind the kit.
Chris Massey clinics are both performance and business based. More specifically on jazz drumming in it's theories, practices and pedagogues. Being a self promoting freelancer in NYC he gives clinics on business aspects of the music industry for up and coming young performers such as promotion, publicity, booking, time management, and using social networking as a base for fans and industry.