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ABOUT CHRIS BLACK


Chris Black is a multi-instrumental composer and performer living in Tucson, Arizona, currently performing either as a solo double bassist or with a trio, and he is the founder of the alt-classical chamber music concert series ChamberLab. He has been a member of such groups as Shoulders (Austin, TX), Les Wampas (Paris, FR), Golden Arm Trio (Austin, TX), The Wedding's Off (L.A., CA), and the Taraf de Tucson (Tucson, AZ).

SELECTED PRESS

Legends & Shadows

There were no boundaries to begin with when ChamberLab set out to present classical music with a punk ethos. So about a year ago when ChamberLab visionary Chris Black got the idea to draw mariachi musicians into the fold … the challenge was set.

Tucson Weekly, March 2nd, 2017

Soundbites

Chris Black's "alt-classical DIY concert series" ChamberLab is consistently one of the coolest things happening in Tucson music, with his talented friends taking on contemporary compositions in settings often accustomed to rock shows.

Tucson Weekly, September 11th, 2014

Chris Black and Chamberlab:

One Year Down and a Wide-Open Future for Chamber Music in Popular Culture

Chris Black revealed a handful of his many dimensions—first whimsy, with a composition for ten players titled, "Around the Neighborhood in Socks"; then wizardry, with a lighthearted set of short pieces for three bassoons; and, finally, emotive, dark free verse, melding music and spoken word into a harrowing first-person account of a paranoid-schizophrenic episode.

Tucson Weekly, May 29th, 2013

Mommy, Why is Chris Black Gonna be Drunk at the Funeral?

The title track, "Drunk at the Funeral," it's like a soundtrack for when some grieving rummy's gonna topple into the casket with the deceased unless his friends keep him upright until the paternoster's over and the worms are reaching for their bibs.

Austin Chronicle, November 1st, 2012

Chris Black: Jericho

This is no ordinary musician. Reaching beyond the boundaries of genre, delving into theatrical representations of hot and cold, Chris Black debuts his solo album, a collection of more throb than beat, instruments churning and bleeding all over this canvas.

Austin Chronicle, July 21st, 2006


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Unusual Inspiration

Putting together a new CD doesn't usually involve trips to the lumberyard. But for Chris Black's Drunk at the Funeral, the lumberyard was just the beginning. … The unusual album—with its startling, forceful piano and orchestral percussion—also stems from an unusual combination of inspirations.

Tucson Weekly, February 9th, 2012

Best of Tucson

Multi-instrumentalist Black—a player and composer of great note and the chargé d'affaires for the acclaimed ChamberLab project—has wearied of releasing CDs in tacky, easily broken jewel cases.

Tucson Weekly, 2012

Modern Adaptation

[Orpheus's] reputation as a musician is preserved through composer Chris Black's sublime incidental music …

Tucson Weekly, January 27th, 2011

Good Juju

Now audiences will be able to hear another side of Chris Black with the debut of the project ChamberLab, for which he and other nonclassical composers have written pieces for a string chamber ensemble.

Tucson Weekly, May 6th, 2010

That Thinking Feeling

… and the musician Chris Black steps up to unleash a tight series of gypsy improvisations on his excellent violin, the audience is right there. The audience, as Black whacks the devil into his fiddlestick, is just about grooving.

Austin Chronicle, August 27th, 2004

Fugitive Pieces

Chris Black provides a gorgeous live soundtrack to the show and its bursts of song, hammering his drums, pounding and tapping and brushing his hanging collection of hubcaps, trash can lids, and buckets, rubbing his array of wine glasses to precise effect.

Austin Chronicle, March 1st, 2002

CURRICULUM VITAE

PRESENT ENSEMBLES

Chris Black / Chris Black Trio
Singer, contrabassist.

ChamberLab
2010 – Present
Founder, artistic director, composer, performer.

SELECTED PAST ENSEMBLES

Gabriel Sullivan / Gabriel Sullivan and the Taraf de Tucson
2008 – 2012
Contrabassist, violinist.

The Wedding's Off
Los Angeles, CA, 2002 – 2003.
Drummer.

Chris Black & the Holy Ghost / Gadjo Bango
Austin, TX, 1999 – 2006.
Bandleader, singer, pianist, guitarist.

Golden Arm Trio
Austin, TX, 1999 – 2001, 2006.
Contrabassist.

Les Wampas
Paris, France, 1993, 1996.
Bassist.

Shoulders
Austin, TX, 1989 – 1994.
Contrabassist.

MUSIC FOR THEATRE AND FILM (COMPOSER)

Speak Easy
Artifact Dance Project, Tucson, AZ, 2014

The General (Buster Keaton)
ChamberLab, Fox Theatre, Tucson, AZ, 2014

Happening to Your Body
(Short Film) directed by Jon Ecklund, 2014

Eurydice
Beowulf Theatre, Tucson, AZ, 2012

Tigers
(Short Film) directed by Rory O’Rear, 2010

Fugitive Pieces
Salvage Vanguard Theater, Austin, TX, 2002

Tilt Angel
Salvage Vanguard Theater, Austin, TX, 2001

AWARDS and HONORS

Buffalo Exchange Arts Award
2014

Golden Hornet Project String Quartet Smackdown
Sweet Sixteen Finalist, 2014
Winner, 2012

Best Alternative Packaging for a Compact Disc
Tucson Weekly Staff, 2012 (for Drunk at the Funeral)

THIS AIN'T NO ORDINARY TROUBLE