"I have had the privilege to play along side of jazz masters such as Stan Getz, Richie Cole, and Mark Murphy... but I love playing with Arkansas based Dave Rogers (drums) and Joe Vick (bass) because they provide me the musical "safe place" to experiment while encouraging me to just be 'myself,' whether we recorded live or in the studio!" Chris James, 2010
Professional Jazz Highlights 1980 to 1993:
The Chris James Quartet was popular during the 1980’s and early 90’s. The group featured Vibraphonist Tommy Kesecker, Drummer Paul Van Wageningen, and Bassist Scoop McGuire. The group released its first album “Dessert” in 1986, with guest artist Richie Cole. It was released nationally through Catero Records (Fred Catero, of CBS Records fame). “Dessert” received national radio airplay and excellent recognition.
In 1984 Chris set up a talent agency that specialized in jazz festivals and ship board jazz theme cruises. It was through this connection that Chris built relationships, played with, and opened for the world's top jazz talent.
Music Highlights 1993 to 2004:
In 1998 Chris released a solo album “Piano Christmas” on the Naturequest label. The CD has received excellent reviews and distribution nationally in Target and Wal Mart stores. This project was recorded at Laughing Coyote Studios with Spencer Brewer as producer. The project fulfilled his goal of marrying his expertise as a musician, producer, and as a Christian, recording music that glorifies God.
In 1998 Chris was picked to musically direct the Power of God Band; a 17 piece worship band of Christian music “all-stars”. This group has released three live CD’s in 1999, 2000 and 2001. In his capacity as music director he had had the privilege of working with Phil Driscol, Ron Kenoly, Paul Baloche, Bob Kilpatrick, Terry Clark, Go Fish, Ashley Cleveland, Steve Camp and many others.
In 2002 Chris decided to close his technical recruiting business in California, and he became the Minister of Music and Media at St. Andrew's Church, in Little Rock Arkansas. It was there that Chris became introduced to the Little Rock Christian Music and Jazz Music scene. It was a perfect blend of Chris' loves of music and ministry. Chris met Dave Rogers, a local jazz drumming legend, at The Afterthought, which has been a Little Rock jazz tradition on Monday Nights for over 25 years. Dave introduced Chris to Joe Vick, and the modern Chris James Trio was reborn.
2005 to present:
Chris re-entered the Corporate world in 2005, joining Microsoft in the recruiting department. Chris currently is International Staffing Manager for Microsoft China, and is based in Microsoft headquarters near Seattle. Chris' work with Microsoft has allowed him to continue to devote spare time to music and ministry, with many musical adventures on the way!
Modern Jazz Quartet
Monterey Jazz Festival
Russian River Jazz Festival
Holland America Cruise Lines (Jazz Festivals)
Cunard Cruise Line (Jazz Festival)
Great American Music Hall
College Campus Jazz Shows in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma