"Family", Christopher Woitach's latest recording, and his first as a leader, is the product of years of honing his playing and compositional style. While studying composition privately with counterpoint master David Borden at Cornell University, Woitach developed several compositional techniques that are employed throughout the recording. The first of these is the juxtaposition of Baroque forms, mostly fugues and canons, with improvisatory passages instead of the "free" material that is found between the various statements of the main subject. The other technique used extensively on "Family" is Woitach's method of matching up notes to the alphabet and writing out "words" that have meaning to the subject of the piece, thus creating the melodic and harmonic material that serves as the basis for the piece. While techniques like these have been used for many years, Woitach's particular take on them creates a unique sound when coupled with the high quality jazz musicians who play on "Family".
Christopher Woitach is a jazz guitarist and composer, currently residing in Portland, OR. He plays and composes in a fresh, innovative style that pushes the boundaries of modern jazz while embracing everything from swing to be-bop.
As a player, Woitach has covered a lot of ground, from backing up Rich Little and Bernadette Peters to playing with avant-garde cellist Hank Roberts. He plays throughout the Northwest with the popular swing band The Monarchs, and does several concerts a year with guitarist John Stowell. He performs every year for Bellingham, WA’s Jazz Project in a variety of settings, and is a featured performer/educator for the Blaine Jazz Festival in Blaine, WA.
As a composer, Christopher Woitach combines all his influences with a thoughtful “third-stream” approach. He studied counterpoint with minimalist pioneer David Borden, 20th century composition with Robert Keefe, and jazz guitar with the great Jim Hall. His use of Baroque contrapuntal techniques with modern tonality, combined with extensive improvisatory passages, shows the influence these musicians had on Woitach’s work.
Christopher Woitach teaches jazz guitar at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, OR, where he leads the WOU Guitar Ensemble and performs with the WOU Faculty Jazztet, known as “The Western Rebellion”. He is a Teal Creek Records and Jazz Project recording artist.
Christopher Woitach's most current recordings are "Live at Lucia Douglas Gallery" with guitarist John Stowell, "Larry Holloway and Christopher Woitach", with bassist Larry Holloway, "Western Rebellion", with WOU Faculty Jazztet. His newest recording is "Family", a collection of his compositions for his family. Soon to be released is "Dead Men (are heavier than broken hearts)", a tribute to dectective novelist Raymond Chandler.
“Woitach plays Cindy Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” with a billowing resonance reminiscent of Joe Pass” - Cadence Magazine
“Jazz Guitarist Extraordinaire” - Pacific Arts Association
“Woitach’s new album Family takes the listener to unexpected places. What is clear, however, is Woitach’s honed skills as a composer, his command of the guitar, and all bolstered by his imaginative ideas as a soloist.” - Jazz Improv Magazine
“Christopher Woitach - making the implausible seem possible” - The Jazz Project
“Woitach is always searching for new forms of expression. With a clean and well rounded sound, Woitach’s search is both compelling and rewarding. He manages to control every aspect of his playing, balancing ideas with a keen sense of melodic righteousness” - Jazz Review
"This is a fine effort from Woitach. A performer who is comfortable playing and writing material that allows the listener to ponder what might be next. Always pushing the envelope, Family is an excellent session and is full of surprises." - Jazz Review