Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Chalfant, Chris (Marie)

Chalfant, Chris (Marie), composer, singer, piano; b. Akron, Ohio, 10 September 1960; Her mother is Verlie Patricia Ciriello, born October 23, 1934, Akron, Ohio. Her father was David Lee Chalfant, born May 3, 1934, died March 30, 1994. Neither parent was a musician, but maternal grandmother was a singer/pianist (sang for president Truman), and paternal parents were both pianists. Her siblings are Lyn Marie Schott, born July 15, 1954, Akron, OH, Laura Sue Chalfant, born June 1, 1956, Akron OH, Cheryl Ann Chalfant, born September 9, 1957, Akron, OH, Theresa Lee Raschke, born October 30, 1958, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and Janet Elizabeth Striegal, born October 8, 1959, Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Chris is divorced.

She attended Central-Hower High, Akron, OH where she was in the choir under Carol Hayward (1975-1978). She had private piano lessons with Mr. Nicholas Constantinidis (1975-1978). At Baldwin-Wallace College, she studied piano with Robert Mayerovitch (1978-1980). At Kent-State, she studied piano with Margaret Baxtresser (1981-1983) and African Music and Dance with Halim El Dabh (1982). At the Longy School Improvisation, she studied with Anne Farber (1983-1990). At the New England Conservatory, she studied jazz with George Russell (1986), improvisation/composition with William Thomas McKinley (1986-1988) and Indian with Abby Rabinovitz (1987). In New York, she has studied privately, Indian Raga with Michael Harrison (2002-present) and jazz with Connie Crothers (2003-present).

Chris Chalfant Founded the Lifetime Visions Orchestra in 2001 which she co-directs with Joseph Jarman.   The LVO recently returned from performing at the Nancy (France) Pulsations Jazz Festival with great acclaim from Les Republican. In 2003, Chris Chalfant performed in the Prague International Jazz Piano Festival. She has directed the American Women Composers Marathon (Boston), and the Festival of Women Improvisors - Boston. She has been composing award-winning music since age 16, including "Portraits" for the Louisville National Composers Competition (Merit Finalist).  She has written extensively for many different instrumental and vocal combinations, as well as poetry, theatre, dance, live painting and multimedia.  From 1986-1992 Chalfant was pianist and singer for the Longy Improvisational ensemble. Her work in the 80s was greatly influenced from the work of Meredith Monk and her workshop experience with Pauline Oliveros. In 1992, she had a residency at the Atlantic Center with Joan LaBarbara and Morton Subotnick.

Chalfant's meetings with Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Steve Lacy, Joseph Jarman, and Reggie Workman, mostly in 1990 were key to shaping her path in writing creative music.   Through her work and studies with Joseph Jarman in Aikido, Buddhism and healing and music projects, Chalfant has realized the beauty and power of universal energy through music and is committed to extending that through her creative work. In addition to the LVO project, Chalfant directs the Dojo Band and has created and implemented the Sonic Meditations Retreat.

She also composed and performed on the Lifetime Vision Orchestra1/4s recent release of Live at the Vision Festival 2002. Chalfant has also performed at the New York Jazz Festival with Noah Howard, and the International Composers Conference in Leukerbad, Switzerland and the Darmstadt Festival.

Selected Compositions: For Connie - piano, composed in 2003, performed at Faust Harrison Pianos, October 24, 2003, Prague International Piano Festival, November 23, 2003.
The Sun Shines Bright Always, - creative orchestra, composed on September 11, 2001, performed for World Trade Center memorial concert with Lifetime Visions Orchestra, New York, September 23, 2001.
When a Song Comes to You - voice and orchestra, composed, September 2001, performed by the Lifetime Visions Orchestra, Thomas Buckner, singer, World Trade Center Memorial Concert, Sept. 23, 2001, Vision Festival, New York, 2002.
You're my Angel - piano; trio, composed in November, 2001, recorded on 'Love and Light', 2002, performed live trio version on WBAI, 2003.
We Breathe in Life - large ensemble, composed in 2000, performed by the Dojo Band extended ensemble at Tonic, New York, 2000, performed at the 2000 Vision Festival, New York, with Joseph Jarman Ensemble.
Heart Suite - small ensemble, composed in 1999, performed by the Dojo Band at the Knitting Factory, New York, August 17, 1999, recorded by the Knitting Factory, August 17, 1999.
Now is the Timing - small ensemble, composed in 1997, performed by the Dojo Band at the Knitting Factory, New York,  spring, 1997, performed by the Chris Chalfant Ensemble at Roulette, New York, May, 1997
African Harp - piano; quartet; small ensemble, composed in 1996, recorded on 'Convergence' in 1997; recorded on 'Love and Light' in 2002; performed at the Nancy Pulsations Jazz Festival, Nancy, France, by the Lifetime Visions Orchestra, 2002.
The Umbrella Man - piano, voice, composed in 1991, recorded by Bobby Few on 'Mysteries' in 1991.
Ballade - bass and piano; piano, co-composed with Reggie Workman, 1991, performed solo piano version at Prague International Jazz Piano Festival, 2003.
Rue St. Denis - trumpet, piano; trumpet and ensemble, co-composed with Graham Haynes, recorded on Graham Hayne's 'Nocturnal Parisian'.
Chatelet - quartet, composed in Paris, France in 1990, recorded on 'Convergence', 1997.
Nordique - piano; piano, flute; piano, trumpet; trio, composed in 1990, performed flute and piano version with Stan Stricland in Boston, 1990, performed trumpet, piano version with Graham Haynes at the Knitting Factory, New York, 1992, recorded trio versionwith Ken Filiano and Ken Yamazaki on 'All in Good Time', 1996, performed trio version on WNYC, 1996, performed flute, piano version with Joseph Jarman, Brooklyn, Conservatory, New York, 2000.
Guitar Suite - guitar, composed in Paris and Boston, 1990, performed by Berit Strong, Cambridge, MA, 1990, performed by student at New England Conservatory, Jordan Hall, 1992.
Portrait (of Three Portraits) - piano, composed in 1990, performed at American Women Composers Marathon - Boston, 1990, Performed in Cambridge, MA 1990, Won Merit Finalist Award, from Louisville, Kentucky, 1990.
Mulasto, - chamber jazz ensemble, composed in 1988, performed for Jimmy Giuffree's jazz composition series at New England Conservatory, 1988.
Dreams and Nightmares - piano; trio, composed in 1986, performed for Jimmy Giufree's jazz composition series, 1986, performed at Leukerbad, Switzerland International Composers Conference, 1989, performed in Femme de Piano Festival, Knitting Factory 1992, recorded on 'All in Good Time' in 1996.
Travelling Songs - solo voice, composed from 1986-1987, performed in Cambridge, MA, recorded on 'Introspect', 1993.
Uses of a Candlestick -  multi-media, composed/created with Katie Redmond in 1986, performed at Eventworks Festival, Boston, 1986.
Jester Jam (from 'Uses of a Candlestick') - vocal percussion quartet composed in 1986, performed at Eventworks Festival, 1986.
Translation of a Fire -voice and dance, composed in 1986, performed at Noyes Rhythm, Connecticut, performed at Mobius, Boston.
Audience Concerto - performance art, composed/created in 1985, performed in Cambridge, MA 1985, 1986.
At Days End - choir, composed in 1978, performed by Central-Hower Choir for High School Baccalaureate, 1978.
The Villain and the Lady - piano, composed in 1977, won second prize in city-wide composition contest.

Selected Recordings:
New'd Music (1992); Introspect (1993);Where You At (1994); All in Good Time (1996); Convergence (1997); Love and Light (2002); Live at the Vision Festival 2002 (2002)

Music by Chris Chalfant on other recordings:
Bobby Few: Mysteries (The Umbrella Man by Chris Chalfant) (1990); Graham Haynes: Nocturnal Parisienne (Rue St. Denis by Chalfant/Haynes); Chris Chalfant, soloist, premiering the instrument, the Lumiano, (light piano) created by William Laziza, performed December 16, 2001; The Dojo Band: Live at the Knitting Factory, August 17, 1999

Unissiued Recordings:
about 60 hours of music from performances and radio broadcasts (1983-1993); about 30 hours of performances and radio broadcasts (1993-2000)

Radio Brodcasts:
WBAI, The Chris Chalfant Trio, live with Ibrahim Gonzalas, February 7, 2003;
WRTI, Philadelphia, Chris Chalfant   with J. Michael Harrison, February 21, 2003;
WKCR, Joseph Jarman and Chris Chalfant with Ken Thompson, 1999;
WNYC, the Chris Chalfant Trio live, 1997;
Numerous broadcasts in Boston between 1983 and 1993: WGBH with Erick Jackson, Jack Wolper, Tufts University, others; WBAI live with Bob Fass 1987

Boston Woman Magazine 1988 spring (April?) Issue
Boston Globe 1986 spring paper article and photo

Akron city-wide composers contest second prize 1977, 1978
Louisville National composers contest Merit Finalist 1990

Contact information:

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