Chris Pattishall has toured internationally as a leader and sideman, presenting original music as well as inventive readings of a broad range of jazz repertoire. In August 2016 he premiered Fictions, a chamber music suite based on the short stories of Jorge Luis Borges. In December 2015 Pattishall was the Music Director for “Divas of the Silver Screen,” a tribute to Ethel Waters, Lena Horne and Rosemary Clooney as part of the 2015-16 Jazz at Lincoln Center season. Recent programs have presented distinctive interpretations of the music of Nat “King” Cole, Fletcher Henderson, and Mary Lou Williams, as well as pairing works by Igor Stravinsky and Maurice Ravel with those of Duke Ellington and George Gerswhin.
Active as both a pianist and composer, Chris holds an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer’s Award, and participated in the Kennedy Center's Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program and the Ravinia Festival Stean’s Young Artist Program.
Pattishall is an engaged music educator, teaching privately and at William Paterson University. Chris also conducts masterclasses with high school jazz ensembles throughout the United States, and he regularly presents masterclasses on jazz and its socio-historical context in the New York City public school system.
Pattishall currently resides in New York City, where he performs at many of the city's renowned jazz clubs including Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Small's, Iridium, Smoke, the Kitano and The Blue Note. He holds a B.A. in Jazz Studies (Magna Cum Laude) from Florida State University and a M.M. in Jazz Performance from William Paterson University and has studied with Harold Mabern, Mulgrew Miller, Marcus Roberts and Gary Kirkpatrick.
Whether fulfilling the role of vocalist, emcee, showman, or impresario, Michael Mwenso conveys both the sophistication and spontaneity of hardcore jazz and the music’s folkloric roots with impeccable craft, creativity, and communicative flair. Most frequently, Mwenso performs as leader of Michael Mwenso and The Shakes, a retinue comprising between three to five vocalists and a rotating ensemble. Mwenso has spent his entire life immersed in the jazz scene and has developed his unique skill set through the course of eventful life journeys.
“You’re getting a generation of holistic musicians who love Louis Armstrong just as much as Woody Shaw, Sidney Bechet as much as Ornette Coleman,” Mwenso says. “They want to be free in all styles of music—free in themselves. We’re figuring out ways to play this music as art, but as entertainment, too.