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Chris Vadala

Professor, Saxophone, Conductor
Director, Jazz Studies Program
Wind & Percussion Division
B.M./B.M.E. Eastman School of Music, M.A. Connecticut College

One of the country's foremost woodwind artists, Chris Vadala is in demand as a jazz/classical performer and educator. He has appeared on more than 100 recordings to date, as well as innumerable jingle sessions, film and TV scores, performing on all the saxophones, flutes, and clarinets. A native of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., he graduated from the Eastman School of Music, earning the honor of the Performer's Certificate in saxophone as well as a B.M. in Music Education, received an M.A. in clarinet from Connecticut College, and pursued postgraduate study in woodwinds at Eastman.

Professor Vadala is the Director of Jazz Studies and Saxophone Professor at the University of Maryland. he was recognized by the UMD as a Distinguished Scholar Teacher in 2010. Previous academic appointments include teaching studio woodwinds and conducting jazz ensembles at Connecticut College, Montgomery College, Hampton University, Prince George's Community College and Mount Vernon College, as well as Visiting Professor of Saxophone at the Eastman School of Music, 1995 and 2001.

Mr. Vadala's performing career has been highlighted by a long tenure as standout woodwind artist with the Internationally recognized Chuck Mangione Quartet, which included performances in all 50 states, Canada, Australia, Japan, Phillipines, China, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, England, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Poland, Belgium, and Switzerland, and performing credits on five gold and two platinum albums, plus two Grammy, one Emmy, one Georgie (AGVA) and one Golden Globe Award. In addition, he has performed and/or recorded with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Chick Corea, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Placido Domingo, Sarah Vaughn, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles, Henry Mancini, Doc Severinsen, Phil Woods, Joe Lovano, and many others.

As one of the Selmer Company's most requested clinicians, Mr. Vadala travels worldwide, performing with and conducting student and professional jazz ensembles, symphonic bands, and orchestras. Within the past six years alone, Mr. Vadala has appeared with over 200 groups across the nation and Canada, and has conducted 48 All-State, as well as numerous All-County and All-District Jazz Ensembles. He served three terms as President of the Maryland Unit of the International Association for Jazz Education, was a permanent member of its Executive Board (College Faculty Representative), and Woodwind Representative to the International Resource Team.

Mr. Vadala's column on woodwind doubling appeared regularly in the Saxophone Journal for over ten years, and he has authored articles for many other magazines. A Downbeat magazine poll finalist in four categories and the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Study grant, he has published a number of original compositions and arrangements (Medici Music & Cimarron Music Press). His book, Improve Your Doubling (Dorn Productions) is acclaimed as a valuable addition to woodwind literature. In addition to his debut solo CD, Out of the Shadows, (, recent recording/publications include Jazz/Rock in the USA, Jazz Solos, Nothin' But Jazz, Fusion Solos, and Jazz Adventures, five books with play-along CDs (dehaske/Curnow), as well as contributions to Warner Brother's Approaching the Standards play-along improvisation series and Jazz Pedagogy (The Jazz Educator's Handbook and Resource Guide). He also has the honor of being included in a new publication, "The History of the Top 40 Sax Solos (1955-1998)."

Visit his website for additional information on discography, bio info, publications, calendar of performances, booking request form, CD sound bytes and more!

+1 301 405 5519
Position (for division): 
Director of Jazz Studies/Saxophone