Chris Jennings (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chris Jennings
Born (1978-08-12) 12 August 1978 (age 44)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
GenresJazz, world music
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, arranger, teacher
Instrument(s)Double bass, electric bass
Years active1993–present
LabelsPromise Land Records, MusicJustMusic

Chris Jennings is a Canadian jazz (left handed) double bassist, composer, arranger and educator.


Early life and career[edit]

Growing up in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, he began studying music early on piano and classical guitar before moving to electric bass and then double bass. He had numerous occasions in Calgary at a very young age to perform with local musicians as well as to accompany artists from abroad such as Sheila Jordan, Edgar Meyer, Hugh Fraser, Jens Lindemann, Dee Daniels as well as attending the Banff Centre for the Arts Jazz Workshop in 1996 under the direction of Kenny Wheeler.

He move to Toronto, Ontario, in 1996 to complete a bachelor's degree in Music Performance at the University of Toronto, he composed and performed his own music and also worked with local artists such as Mike Murley, Bob Brough, Dave Restivo, Kirk MacDonald, Mark Duggan, Great Bob Scott, David Occhipinti, Michael Occhipinti, Phil Dwyer, Roy Styffe, Brian Dickinson, Mark Duggan, Richard Underhill, Barry Romberg, Nich Fraser, Geoff Young, Adrean Farrugia, Mark Adam, Anthony Michelli, David French etc.

The Banff Centre for the Arts played an extremely important role in his artistic and personal development, with numerous longterm residencies (2000 to 2010) to develop his playing and his original compositions. This included a number of eclectic albums recorded and produced with the gracious help of the Banff Centre for the Arts (listed in the discography)

European life and career (since 2002 to date)[edit]

Moving to Europe in 2002, he has established himself as an international Canadian double bassist based in Paris, France.

With guitarist Nguyên Lê he is currently in his "Fire & Water Trio" with percussionist Stephan Edouard and Nguyên Lê's "Streams" Quartet [1] featuring vibraphonist Illya Amar & New York percussionist John Hadfield. He first appeared in Nguyên Lê's Fragile Beauty Group with Huong Thanh in 2007 and since, and later in a quartet with Rita Marcotulli and Danny Gottlieb as well as in many different formations of Nguyên Lê with Karim Ziad, Jan Bang, Bojan Zulfikarpasic, Rick Margitza, Paul McCandless, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Himiko Paganotti, Cathy Renoir, Alex Tran, and Mark Guiliana, Stéphane Galland, Françsis Lassus and Joel Allouche.

As bassist of the Dhafer Youssef quartet with Tigran Hamasyan and Mark Guiliana, this group toured extensively from 2009 to 2012. Other formations performing with Dhafer Youssef include with pianist Kristjan Randalu and drummers Chander Sarjoe and Ferenc Nemeth, guitarist Eivind Aarset, Turkish clarinetist Hüsnü Şenlendirici and cymbalum player Aytaç Dogan, Danish percussionist Marilyn Mazur and Norwegen trumpetist Nils Petter Molvaer, pianist Marcin Wasilewski and drummer Satoshi Takeishi. In summer 2017 he returned on tour with Dhafer's American quartet with pianist Aaron Parks and drummer Ferenc Nemeth.

In 2015 he began as bassist with pianist Joachim Kühn's "New Trio",[2][3] with drummer Eric Schaefer. They have two albums on ACTMusic and the trio performed with drummer Gary Husband and trumpetist Enrico Rava. He is also bassist with the Céline Bonacina Quartet with pianist Gwilym Simcock (Pat Metheny's pianist) and percussionist Asaf Sirkis, as well as the Loïs le Van Quartet with saxophonist Sylvain Rifflet and pianist Bruno Ruder.

He also took on a melodic role, as well as bassist, in the creation of Titi Robin's "Nargis" Trio [4] with Iranian percussionist Habib Meftah.

In 2017 he became bassist with the Gregory Privat Trio (music mixing jazz and music from La Martinique) [5][6] as well as the bassist in David Linx's new quartet and the trio of pianist David Aubail "DAT" with drummer Karim Ziad, Céline Bonacina's "Fly Fly" Trio as double bassist and contributing extensively to the trio's repertoire and Macha Gharabian's trio with Belgium drummer Dré Pallemaerts.

Other projects as a side man include numerous projects with Turkish ney player Kudsi Erguner, as well as the El Gusto traditional Chaâbi orchestra, Slovenian pianist Marko Crncec with saxophonist Mark Shim and drummers Ludwig Afonso and Rudy Royston, the Thomas Enhco Trio, the Jacek Kochan/Dave Liebman Quartet in Eastern Europe, the Lee Konitz/Giovanni Ceccerelli Quartet, pianist Kenny Werner and Benjamin Koopel, Triple Horizon Trio with guitarist Florian Zenker and drummer Arie den Boer. He has also worked with Seamus Blake, Yaron Herman, Valgeir Sigurðsson, John Hadfield, Omri Mor, Terumasa Hino, Kiyohiko Semba, Andy Milne, and Nelson Veras to name a few. He is in guitarist Nguyên Lê's Fire & Water Trio[7] with percussionist Stephane Edouard. Audio-Visual projects include composing and performing for works with Canadian visual artist Dan Hudson.[8]

As leader[edit]

Releasing in 2011 of his self-titled Chris Jennings Quartet CD on Promise Land Records[9] featuring Manu Codjia (el. gtr), Pierre Perchaud (ac. gtr), Patrick Goraguer (drums), he also led the Country Jazz Trio with American drummer Leon Parker for three years. Jennings/Perchaud acoustic duo began 2006, and trio featuring guitarist/percussionist Kevin Seddiki and the young Belgium vocalist revelation Lynn Cassiers since 2011. A co-leader project with trombonist Karin Hammar was created[10] in 2012 featuring Ingrid Jensen. As well as the Chris Jennings Solo Double Bass project and the Chris Jennings String Quintet, his group Drum'n Koto Trio featuring Mieko Miyazaki (Japanese koto) and Patrick Goraguer (drums/santour) whose album received disc of the Day[11] (TSF Jazz Radio France), disc of the week[12] (FIP Radio France) and disc of the month.[13][14] His latest project the Chris Jennings Piano Quartet + will release their first album in 2022 with the help of Ralf Kemper and Eden Records, recorded in Riverside Studios Cologne Germany, and it features Patrick Goraguer (piano), Kalle Kalima (guitar), Eric Schaefer (drums) and special guest Hayden Chisholm (saxophone).

Studies and teaching[edit]

Since 1996, Jennings completed numerous self-study/project residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts Canada, a Bachelors (B.A.) in Jazz Performance from the University of Toronto, Canada (2000) and a Masters (M.A.) in Music from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, the Netherlands (2004). He has studied extensively with his mentors Dale James, Palle Danielsson, John Patitucci, as well as with Don Thompson, Ray Brown, Mark Johnson, Thomas Martin, Edgar Meyer, Hein Van de Geijn, Bruno Chevillon, François Rabbath, Cameron Brown, David Takeno, Menahem Pressler, Dave Young, Jim Vivian, and his first double bass teachers who got him off to the right start John Hyde and Dave Watts.

He is on faculty at the Didier Lockwood Music School (Centre Musiques Didier Lockwood - CMDL), since 2005 and having taught at the Conservatory of Chelles France for 7 years. He does masterclasses across Europe for d'Addario Bowed Strings, David Gage pick-ups and teaches privately.

Instruments and endorsements[edit]

Jennings plays a custom built left-handed Thomas Martin double bass (2004),[15] a Croatian double bass circa 1880 converted into a neck off for air travel by David Gage, a "Lolita" electric double bass by Hervé Prudent (2011)[16] as well as a Saz (Nino le Saz) by luthier Hervé Prudent [17] and a custom made 6 string electric bass (1992) by Tak Hosono (Ibenez basses)[18] designed and constructed with the help of his mentor legendary Canadian bassist Dale James.

Jennings is endorsed by d'Addario[19] Bowed Strings and by David Gage Realist pick-ups.


Album as leader/co-leader Year Label
Chris Jennings Drum'n KotoDrum'n Koto (Mieko Miyazaki, Patrick Goraguer, feat. Nguyên Lê & Kudsi Erguner) 2013 MusicJustMusic (Digital)
Chris Jennings Drum'n KotoDrum'n Koto[20] (Mieko Miyazaki, Patrick Goraguer, feat. Nguyên Lê & Kudsi Erguner) 2013 Promise Land (distr. Socadisc)
Hammar/Jennings Group Land (featuring Ingrid Jensen) 2012 Skip Records
Chris Jennings Drum'n KotoFrom Tokyo to Tehran (feat. Mieko Miyazaki, Patrick Goraguer) 2012 MusicJustMusic
Chris Jennings Quartet August – Special Edition (feat. Manu Codjia, Pierre Perchaud, Patrick Goraguer) 2012 MusicJustMusic
Chris Jennings QuartetChris Jennings Quartet (feat. Manu Codjia, Pierre Perchaud, Patrick Goraguer) 2011 Promise Land Records
Chris Jennings String QuintetWorks I 2010 MusicJustMusic
Chris Jennings Solo Double BassLive at the Banff Centre 2010 MusicJustMusic
Jennings/Perchaud DuoParis to the Rockies 2008 MusicJustMusic
Chris Jennings Solo Double BassLeft Turn Signal 2002 MusicJustMusic
Album as a sideman Year Label
John HadfieldParis Quartet (feat.Sylvain Rifflet, Jozef Dumoulin, Chris Jennings, John Hadfield-drums)[21] 2021 Outnote Records
David LinxSkin in the Game (feat.Gregroy Privat, Arnaud Dolmen-drums)[22] 2019 Cristal Records
Gregory PrivatSoley 2019 Buddham Jazz
Nguyên LêStreams (feat.Ilya Amar-vibes, John Hadfield-drums)[23] 2019 ACT Music
Macha GharibianJoy Ascension (feat.Dré Pallemaerts-drums) 2019 Meredith Records
Céline BonacinaFly Fly (feat.Jean Luc Di Fraya-drums/perc/voix, Guest-Pierre Durand-gtr)[24] 2019 Cristal Records
Joachim KühnLove & Peace[25] 2018 ACT Music
David AubaileThinko (feat. Karim Ziad-drums) 2018 Promise Land Records
Jeremy HababouNuances (with Lukmil Perez-drums) 2018 Outhere Music
Marko ChurnchetzRuthenia (feat. Mike Moreno gtr., Rudy Royston drms)[26] 2017 Fresh Sound
Joachim KühnBeauty & Truth[27] 2016 ACT Music
Céline Bonacina Crystal QuartetCristal Rain (feat. pianist Gwilym Simcock) 2016 Crystal Records (France)
Loïs Le VanSo Much More 2016 Hevhetia
Alex SaadaWefree 2016 Promise Land Records (France)
Nguyên Lê/Thong DuongDoc Dao 2014 Vietnam
Francesco NastroColors of Light[28] 2014 Via Veneto Jazz (Italy)
Thomas EnhcoFireflies 2013 Label Bleu (France)
Hervé CercalBel Air for Piano 2013 Jazz Caribéen
El Gusto Chaabi OrchestraEl Gusto 2012 Zylo
Thomas Enhco TrioThe Window and the Rain (with guests Terumasa Hino & Kiyohiko Semba) 2011 Happinet (Japan)
Lee Konitz feat. Giovanni Ceccerelli French TrioWaxin' in Camerino 2011 Philology Records (Italy)
Dhafer Youssef QuartetAbu Nawas Rhapsody[29] (feat. Tigran Hamasyan, Chris Jennings, Mark Guiliana) 2010 EmArcy
Jean BeckerDeux Jours à Tuer (film music) 2008 Allocine
Yabai Piano TrioYabai 2008 autoproduction
Leila Olivesil'Etrange Fleur 2007 Plus Loin Music (France)
Alex Saada QuintetBe Where You Are 2005 Promise Land Records (France)
University of StockholmÄlskade Sånger 2003 (Sweden)
Alex SaadaÉveil 2003 Promise Land Records (France)
Barry RombergThree Blind Mice 2002 Romhog Records (Canada)
Ronley TeperTales From the Tray 2001 autoproduction (Canada)
Sound of Toronto Jazz SeriesHear the Color of Jazz 1999 CBC Radio (Canada)
Silke EberhardInspiration Expiration 1999 autoproduction (Germany)


  1. ^ "6h55 - Nguyên Lê Streams quartet". YouTube.
  2. ^ "Beauty & Truth - CD - Beauty & Truth - Joachim Kühn - Artists - ACT Music - in the spirit of jazz".
  3. ^ "Love & Peace - CD - Love & Peace - Joachim Kühn - Artists - ACT Music - in the spirit of jazz".
  4. ^ "Nargis - Molpé Music / Booking - management - fundraising". Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  5. ^ "Home".
  6. ^ "Grégory Privat, Chris Jennings, Tilo Bertholo : Waltz for MP (Grégory Privat)". YouTube.
  7. ^ European Jazz Network
  8. ^ Dan Hudson "News Weather & Sports", Timelaps looping HD video
  9. ^ Jazz Magazine, No. 625, May 2011, p. 59
  10. ^ All About Jazz, Article 540 Sept. 2012
  11. ^ TSF Jazz Radio France, 29 October 2013
  12. ^ FIP Radio France Archived 2 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine, 23–29 December 2013
  13. ^ "Drum'n Koto".
  14. ^ Jazz News Magazine, No. 28 January/February 2013
  15. ^ Testimonials Archived 12 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Thomas & George Martin double basses
  16. ^ Lolita electric double bass Archived 13 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Hervé Prudent instrument builder
  17. ^ "Nino le SAZ". Archived from the original on 23 December 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  18. ^ custom made instruments, Tak Hosono instrument builder
  19. ^ "Orchestral Strings & Rosin | d'Addario".
  20. ^ Jazz Magazine, No. 656 December 2013 by Franck Bergerot
  21. ^ "John Hadfield's Paris Quartet".
  22. ^ "Skin in the Game | David Linx".
  23. ^ "Streams - CD - Streams - Nguyên Lê - Artists - ACT Music - in the spirit of jazz".
  24. ^ "Fly Fly | Céline Bonacina".
  25. ^ "Love & Peace - CD - Love & Peace - Joachim Kühn - Artists - ACT Music - in the spirit of jazz".
  26. ^ "Marko Churnchetz - Ruthenia - Retrospective of Russian Composers of the 20th Century".
  27. ^ "Beauty & Truth - CD - Beauty & Truth - Joachim Kühn - Artists - ACT Music - in the spirit of jazz".
  28. ^ Via Veneto Jazz, VVJ 093
  29. ^ Dhafer Youssef Website, February 2010

External links[edit]