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Chris Byars: Bio

CHRIS BYARS is an award-winning saxophonist, composer, bandleader and educator based in New York City. He divides his artistic focus between development of original material and studying the vast repertoire of jazz composers of the 20th century.

As a cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department, Chris has ventured to American Embassies in 44 countries to perform concerts and educational outreach. Trips in 2014 have included India, Cyprus, Oman, Tunisia and the Palestinian Territories.

His latest CD release, Jasmine Flower (SteepleChase), offers new original compositions and jazz adaptations of folk music encountered in his recent journeys to Morocco, Vietnam and China. A new Chris Byars Sextet recording entitled "the Music of Duke Jordan" is slated for release by Steeplechase in August 2014, featuring eleven innovative arrangements of classic jazz tunes.

In the summer of 2014, Chris Byars directs the Jazz Division of the Cyprus Academy of Music International Summer School and Festival (CAMSSF), from July 21- August 1. Byars was co-director of the Jazz Futures Workshop in Cyprus from 2008-2013.

Byars was recently chosen to lead the WDR as a guest soloist and arranger; rehearsals start on Sept 2, 2014 in Cologne, Germany.