Based in Madison and winner of the 2021 Wisconsin Area Music Industry Award for Best Jazz Artist, Mr. Chair brings a truly unique performance to every stage they play.
Mr. Chair looks like a jazz combo, enchants like a string quartet, and electrifies like a rock band, all while delighting listeners with their fresh and authentic sound. As classically-trained musicians well-versed in jazz, electronics, prog rock, world music and beyond, Mr. Chair is a contemporary fusion ensemble for music fans of all backgrounds. Their sound palette is diverse, and used to tell stories in styles cinematic, surreal, romantic, funky, and whimsical.
Their projects are as diverse as their sound. They have been commissioned by UW Geoscientist Dr. Stephen Meyers to write music inspired by science concepts. They are working with former UW First-Wave Scholar, activist, and singer Dequadray James White to write an orchestral hip-hop album. Another collaboration has yielded a 50-min opera with singer Leslie Damaso, featuring violin, kulintang, a personal narrative, and original, contemporary arrangements of kundiman (Filipino art songs). Finally, they reimagined Stravinsky’s Pulcinella.
Equally comfortable as educators, the members of Mr. Chair have conducted masterclasses with students from middle school to college on the topics of performance, composition, style, arranging, orchestration, interpretation, and the creative process.
Arrangements of their music feature string quartet, string orchestra, additional brass/winds, and symphony orchestra. They have presented this music with KASA Quartet, the Caroga Lake Music Festival, and members of Akron Symphony Orchestra.
“The euphonious elements at the heart of Snarky Puppy’s appeal are also present in Mr. Chair’s debut.“ (PROG UK) In 2019, Mr. Chair independently released Nebulebula, a sprawling, 2-hour, double-disc CD. Also printed as a triple-vinyl, the album features spoken word, a gospel choir, string quartet, and more. Their next album, titled Better Days, came out in fall 2022.