Chris West is a saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, producer, and recording artist born and raised in Nashville, TN.
Chris’s interest in music started at a very young age after inheriting his father’s acoustic guitar and Casio keyboard, and he soon started experimenting with melodies and harmonies, before ultimately expanding to brass and woodwinds. Chris’ commitment to the saxophone as his primary instrument began in high school, where he was awarded the John Philip Sousa Award and participated in honor bands while studying with renowned saxophonists Jeff Coffin (Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Dave Matthews Band) and Jeff Kirk (Maynard Ferguson).
Chris earned his BA in Commercial Music Composition and Performance from Belmont University in Nashville, TN before hitting the road with 7-piece avant garde funk/jazz band “The Guy Smiley Blues Exchange'' as composer and performer, garnering a nomination for a Nashville Music Award along the way. Chris continued his education at Middle Tennessee State University where he earned a MM in Jazz Studies under the guidance of Don Aliquo.
Chris’ performance credits include: Charles Walker and the Dynamites, Mile 8, Dynamo, Deana Carter, Brenda Lee, Johnny Reid, Mike Farris, Melissa Etheridge, Robert Randolf, Jerrod Neimann, My Morning Jacket, JoJo Herman (Widespread Panic), The Temptations, The Four Tops, Brian Setzer, Little Big Town, and Jennifer Nettles.
He has had the honor of sitting in with major jazz/funk artists including: Bob Babbitt (Motown), Bela Fleck, Victor Wooten, Benny Golson, Rufus Reed, Kenny Werner, Tim Hagen, Randy Brecker, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Jim McNeely, Chester Thompson, Bill Summers (Herbie Hancock), The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Rebirth Brass Band, John Medeski, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Eddie Daniels, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), and many others.
Recording credits include: Shania Twain, Toby Mac, Brandon Heath, Building 429, Carter Shy, Aleon Craft, Rodney Crowell, Peter Keys, Mike Whittaker, Jack White, Drew Baldridge, Johnny Reid, Marquee Mayfield, and many others.
Working out of his impressive home studio, Chris’ original compositions and arrangements have been placed in TV shows including: the Originals (CW), Togetherness, Queen Sugar (OWN), Star (Fox), The Marvelous Mrs Maisel (Amazon), Black-ish, Monsterland (Hulu), and several commercials.
Chris' first solo album, “Jazzmanic”, was released in 2006. This album features some of Nashville’s top musicians. He followed that in 2011 with a 3-disc set entitled “The Surprise Trilogy (Discs 1-3)”, which highlighted local Nashville talent. The Trilogy was featured in JazzTimes, Downbeat Magazine, and has received extensive radio play across the US and Europe.