Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Washburne, Christopher (John)

Washburne, Christopher (John), trombonist, tuba player, educator, author; b. Bath, Ohio, 25 September 1963.  Born and raised in rural Ohio, Chris began trombone in his grade school band program when he was 10 years of age.  He was first introduced to jazz at age 12 when his mother, Ellen Kotula (b. February 23, 1927 in Pittsburgh) (his parents divorced in 1964) married his step-father Marvin Mell (b. February 21, 1926 in Akron, Ohio), and avid Count Basie and Woody Herman fan and amateur swing drummer.  At 17 Chris moved to Madison, Wisconsin to pursue a Bachelors of Music degree at the University of Wisconsin (1981-1986) where he studied jazz with Richard Davis and classical trombone with William Richardson. In 1985 he spent a semester studying in Florence, Italy and performing and touring with Italian pop singer Sergio Caputo.  In the summer of 1985 he spent the summer traveling in Zambia and Zimbabwe studying the traditional musics of those regions.  It was here that he developed an interest in ethnomusicological studies.  In 1987 he moved to Boston to study at the New England Conservatory (NEC) and received a Masters of Music degree from the Third Stream Studies program (an innovative cross-cultural and cross-stylistic program developed by Gunther Schuller).  At NEC he studied with Ran Blake, Bob Moses, and John Swallow and won the prestigious Graduation Concerto Competition performing Luciano Berio's  Sequenza V.  He also taught African Music and founded and directed the first Brazilian Music Ensemble at NEC.  While in Boston he began performing with numerous Brazilian, Caribbean, and South American bands developing a deep love and respect for Latin music styles. 

In the summer of 1989 he spent the summer studying and playing in Brazil performing with Danilo Caymmi.  In the fall of 1989 he moved to New York City to pursue a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University.  In 1993 he received a Mellon Fellowship to travel to and explore the rich musical traditions of Cuba.  In 1996 he received a Sinfonia Foundation grant to assist in the research for his dissertation.  In 1998 he completed his studies writing a dissertation on the New York City Salsa scene.  This work will be published by Temple University Press in 2004.  While studying at Columbia, Chris began a rigorous freelancing schedule recording and playing with numerous jazz, classical, and pop acts.  Those include Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Mark Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Celine Dion, Celia Cruz, Muhal Richard Abrams, Ruben Blades, Roscoe Mitchell, Grady Tate, Jaki Byard, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Danilo Caymmi, Daniel Ponce, Ran Blake, Arturo Sandoval, Hilton Ruiz, Lawrence "Butch" Morris, Anthony Braxton, John Cale, Baba Olatunje, Candido, Freddie Cole, Leslie Uggams, Maria Schneider Big Band, Chico O'Farrill, Wynton Marsalis, Dicapo Opera Company, Bang on a Can All-stars, American Microtonal Festival Chamber Orchestra, RMM Allstar Salsa Band, Regis Philbin, and the Dinosaur Annex under the direction of Gunther Schuller. He is a regular performing member with the Boston Art Quartet, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, SEM Ensemble, Sun Spits Cherries, Walter Thompson Big Band, Marie McAuliffe's Ark Sextet, Dadadah, and leader of S.Y.O.T.O.S., a Latin jazz group that features his original compositions.  He can be heard on the recordings of David Byrne, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, The Barrio Boyz, Oscar D'Leon, Louie
Ramirez, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Bang on A Can Allstars, Brian Lynch, Raulin Rosendo, the Smithereens, among many others.

Chris is currently freelancing in New York performing trombone, bass trombone, tuba, and didjeridu with various classical, jazz, pop, Broadway, and Latin groups in New York City.  He also tours extensively with various groups and has concertized throughout the North America, Europe, Asian, Africa, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.  He is a consultant for the Smithsonian Institute and is featured in their Latin jazz exhibit.  He is currently an assistant professor of music and Director of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance Program at Columbia University.

Recordings:
Boston Art Quartet. The Fax (1992); Chris Washburne and the SYOTOS Band: Nuyorican Nights (1998), The Other Side (2000), Trouble In Paradise (2002)

As sideperson (in alphabetical order):
Burt Bacharach/John Zorn: Great Jewish Music: Burt Bacharach (1997); Bang On A Can All-stars: Music for Airports: Brian Eno (1998); Barrio Boyz: Donde Quiera Que Estes (1997); Kitty Brazelton: Chamber Music for the Inner Ear (2002); David Byrne: Uh-Oh: Warner Brothers Luaka-Bop (1992); Wendy Mae Chambers: A Mass for Mass Trombones (1994); Victor "Puchi" Colon: Felicidad Todo El Ano (1997), Busca a Jesus (2000), Salsa Praise (2002); Marc-Antonio Consoli: Vuci Siculani (1997); Combinacion Perfecta: Familia RMM en Vivo (1994); Dadadah: Rise Up! (1994), Love Not Love Lust Not Lust (1999); Julien Fleisher and his Rather Big Band: Rather Big (2002); Linda Baker Grimm: Angel's Wings (1997); Ujae Ha: Tribute to Ujae Ha (1997); C.D. Hawkins and Singers: Mighty Fortress (1997); Philip Hernandez: The Beat of My Heart (2001); Mel Holder: Now and Forever (1997); Chris Jonas: The Sun Split Cherries (1999), The Vermilion (2001); King Missile III: Failure: (1998); The Last of the International Playboys: Vegas Jazz and Latin Lounge
(1997); Quinn Lemley: Dance or Die (1999); Eugenia Leon: Acercate Mas (2000); Oscar D'Leon and Elba Ramalho: Salsa Brasilera (1994); Yorman D'Leon: Camino al Futuro (1997); The Loser's Lounge: Simply Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad About You (1999); Brian Lynch: Spheres of Influence (1997); Ann Magnuson: The Luv Show (1995);
Manhattan Chamber Orchestra: Randall Thompson: Testament of Freedom
(1994), Dave Soldier: War Prayer (1994), William Grant Still: The American
Scene (1995) Alan Hovhaness: Symphony of Metal Instruments (1995),
Christine Weidinger: Verdi Arias (1996), Such a Tender Night: The Music of Alec
Wilder (1997), Lukas Foss: The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (1997), Seymor Barab: Cosmos Cantata (2001), Dave Soldier: Ice-9 Ballads (2002); Marie McAuliffe Ark Sextet:  Marie McAuliffe's Ark Sextet (1996), Refractions: Marie McAuliffe's Ark Sextet plays
the music of Burt Bacharach (1998); Metro Praise: Metro Praise Live (1993); Yolandita Monge: Mi Encuentro (1996); Nerissa: Nerissa (1993); Tim Newman: Altered Ego (producer) (1999); Luis Ogando: Historia de un Amor (1995); Grupo Oriza: Yo Quiero Mi Son (1994), Requiem to Felix Chappotin and his Stars (1996); Palenque: El Sabor de Tu Piel (1995); Ray De La Paz: Preparate Bailador(1993); Los Primos: A Musical Concept in Salsa (1994); Tito Puente: Mambo Birdland (2000); Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri: Masterpiece (2001); Jeff Raheb Contemporary Jazz Orchestra:  Topaz Under Moon (2000); Bradford Reed: The Stars of My Destination (2001); Johnny Reinhard and American Festival of Microtonal Ensemble: Raven (1999); The Revelers: Day In, Day Out (1998); Rikoson All Stars: Evoluciones Del Son (1997); Roaring Lion: Standing Proud (1997); Robert J: Boys Town (1986); Danny Rojo: Regalame Tu Amor (1996); Raulin Rosendo: El Sonero del Pueblo (1993); Rosine: A New Broom Sweeps Clean, But The Old Broom Knows Every
Corner (1999); Bobby Sanabria Big Band: Live and In Clave (2000); SEM Ensemble: Morton Feldman Turfan Fragment (2002); Set 'Em Up Joe: Set 'Em Up Joe (2001); The Smithereens: God Saves The Smithereens (1999); STX Ensemble: Xenakis Ensemble Music 2 (1996); Teresa Tang Tribute: Re-make, Re-model (1999); Ray Vega: Ray Vega (1996); Orlando Watussi: Como Nunca (1992)

Bibliography:
Bad Music: Critical Essays on the Discourses of Value in Popular Music. (Editor)
Routledge Press, forthcoming (2003).
Salsa in New York: a Musical Ethnography. Temple University Press, Forthcoming (2004).
"Latin Jazz: the Other History." Current Musicology 71-73 (Spring 2001- Spring 2002)
"Lick," "Riff," and "Wa-wa" entries for the Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Continuum International Publishing Group (2003).
"Masquerading Machismo: La India Transgendering on the Salsa Scene."  Co-authored with Maiken Derno. Women In Performance 24, 12:2 (2002)
"Nuyorican Son." Current Musicology 70 (2002).
"Salsa Romantica: an Analysis of Style, Sound Structure, and Contemporary
Performance Practice." In Situating Salsa: Global Markets and Local Meanings in Latin Popular Music edited by Lise Waxer.  Routledge (2002)
"Miscellaneous Instruments in Jazz." In Jazz: A Reader's Companion.Oxford University Press (2000)
"Law of International Affairs." Brondums Danske Lov. Copenhagen: Brondums (2000)
Salsa in New York: a Musical Ethnography.  Ph.D. Dissertation. Columbia University (1999).
"Con Filin: the expression and swing of Salsa."  Latin American Music Review. Vol. 19, no. 2, Fall/Winter (1998)
"The Clave of Jazz: A Caribbean Contribution to the Rhythmic Foundation of an African-American Music."  Black Music Research Journal.  Vol. 17, No. 1 Spring (1997)
"Dangers of Straddling the Picket Fence: Notes from a Participant Observer."The Society for Ethnomusicology: Middle Atlantic Chapter Newsletter. Volume XV, Number 1, Spring (1996)
"Clave: The African Roots of Salsa." Kalinda!: Newsletter for the Center for Black Music Research, Fall (1995); Reprinted in Clave (1) 2, (1998)
Communication as Composition: A Historical Perspective on the Music of Gil
Evans. Master's Thesis. Columbia University (1991).

Contact information:
www.chriswashburne.com
chris@chriswashburne.com
cjw5@columbia.edu

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