Connecticut native Chris Ward began studying the tenor saxophone at a young age. Having been inspired by saxophonist-turned-movie director Nick Ordway and his Charlie Parker Omnibook, Chris was propelled to voraciously study the history of jazz through the music of Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius, Michael Brecker, and many more masters of the discipline.
Ward’s musical education took him first to the Berklee College of Music, where he graduated with a degree in Performance and Jazz Composition, and then on to New York University. During his studies, Chris studied closely with George Garzone and Frank Tiberi and was a vital member of many of Berklee’s top ensembles under the direction of legendary figures including Hal Crook and Joe Lovano. While attending NYU, Ward was advised and instructed by Chris Potter, Wayne Krantz, Gil Goldstein, Lenny Pickett, and Jean-Michel Pilc.
His extensive experience as a performer and composer in the Boston and New York City areas have included engagements at Boston’s WGBH and at the famed Blue Note Jazz Club with jazz luminaries including Kenny Werner, John Scofield, Lenny Pickett, and Joe Lovano. Chris was also regularly performing with guitar legend Mike Stern at the famed 55 bar, one of the highlights being a run at the club with drummer Lenny White. The regular band at 55 bar comprised of bassist Teymur Phell, Richie Morales or Kym Thompson on drums. Chris has also shared the stage with Robert Trujillo and Kirk Hammett of Metallica, Armand Sabel-Lecco and Stephen Perkins from Jane's Addiction in celebration and support of the 2015 Jaco Pastorius documentary Jaco, directed by Paul Marchand and Stephen Kijak.
Ward is featured on the upcoming Fischerspooner release (produced by Michael Stipe of REM) and performs as a core member of the Hipster Assassins and the Social Experiment, both led by legendary bassist Felix Pastorius. He has contributed to performances and recordings by Lord Huron, The Family Crest, Color Guard, and the world’s only J-Pop big band, Morning Musuko! In addition to prolific work as an in-demand sideman, Chris released his debut studio recording as a leader, Bridging the Gap, in 2008 to explore his unique sound, ideas, and virtuosic approach to improvising.
He brings a unique fusion of classical, rock, jazz and electronica to his songs heavily influenced by Bjork, Radiohead and Portishead. In his search for creativity and to help portray his unique sound and ideas, Ward gathered a group of talented musicians together and recorded his debut album, “Bridging the Gap.”
Ward is a member of a few up and coming projects on the scene, Felix Pastorius' Hipster Assassins and Social Experiment, The worlds only J-pop big band Morning Musuko! and is currently working on his follow up record.
Chris Ward is an official Yamaha Performing Artist.