Rev Chris was born in Boston and raised in Philadelphia where he began studying Jazz at Settlement Music School under Denise Bruckno. While attending Springfield Township High School he started studying with Philly legend Eric Speigel while also learning the trumpet. After high school he moved to New Orleans where he attended Loyola University and University of New Orleans. He honed his piano skills formally studying with Michael Pellera and Ellis Marsalis. Blues pianist/organist Joe Krown took Rev under his wing and showed him the ins and outs of boogie woogie; allowing Chris to be his official sub for New Olreans Piano Night while Joe toured with Gatemouth Brown, Charlie Musselwhite and his own bands.
As a memeber of New Orleans funk/jam bands Brides of Jesus, Juice and Restless Natives he toured throughout the South and got a chance to open for, or share the stage with B.B. King, Widespread Panic, Ani Difranco, Walter Wolfman Washington, Derek Trucks, George Porters JR and many other musical greats. When not touring he performed in modern improvised music with the Ted Hefko Quartet and the Bradford Truby Trio. He appears on recording by both these bands and the funk band Restless Natives.
He relocated to Philadelphia following a decade in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina destroyed his home. He brought that Big Easy style of relaxed fonky jazz piano that has made so many other New Orleans keyboardists extremely popular. He has performed in and around Philly as a solo, duo, trio or larger ensemble. He holds the keyboard chair in Roger Learnard Band, a popular bar band that performs originals and classic rock covers. He has a fusion band, the Courtesy Shuttle with Rich Curtis, bass; Davey Cope, guitar; and Tony Green, drums.
On the keys, Chris has, the kind of feeling that boppers were just beginning to experiment with and that James Booker brought to fruition. - OffBeat Magazine
If you like music that gets your foot tapping, so much so you can't help but get up and dance, then you will love Viper Mad. - Emily Brooks, Life on the Hill Magazine
One of the unsung stars of the current Philly music scene. - Philadelphia Daily News
Super pianist! - Chestnut Hill Local
Willing to teach
Intermediate to advanced
Currently teaching both beginner piano students just learning the basics as well as intermediate/advanced students who are looking to learn jazz piano, theory & improv. Theory & improv students do not have to be piano students, just have a confident grasp of the instrument they do play.
Currently accepting students for Monday and Tuesday time slots.
$50 for a 45 minute lesson at the intermediate and advanced levels, beginner lessons available at $40 for 30 minutes.