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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 50 countries to perform concerts and educational outreach. Trips in 2015 include Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Albania and Kosovo.

Byars was a featured guest performer with the Algerian Ensemble "El Gusto!" in April 2015; he participated in their triumphant return to Algiers, in which the popular music of the Casbah neighborhood was performed live for the first time since the political revolution in 1962.

His latest CD release, Chris Byars Plays the Music of Duke Jordan (SteepleChase), features eleven innovative arrangements of classic jazz tunes and the addition of outstanding guitarist Pasquale Grasso, in his commercial recording debut.

Byars is a featured performer, composer and arranger with the WDR Big Band in Köln, Germany in September 2015.

Chris enjoys running, raw food nutrition, and spending time with his two children, who are growing up too fast.