From Chicago to Detroit (Motown) to Texas
USAF Years & Tops in Blue
During his Air Force career, Chris played in several R&B and Jazz bands while stationed in Korea, Germany and San Antonio. in Korea, he met Rene' Lewis who would become another friend and music mentor. While stationed in Germany, he had two other music mentors, William "Mac" McKay, a trumpeter and arranger and Tony Bullock, guitarist. During his tour in Germany, one of his most memorable moments was his selection as guitarist for the Air Force Tops in Blue entertainment showcase. To get selected, he competed in their talent competition (similar to the current American Idol process) starting at his assigned base in Sembach, Germany. Chris took first place in the instrumental solo category. He continued taking first-place awards at the regional (all-Germany) and the U.S. Air Forces Europe (USAFE) competitions. From there he returned to the States to compete in the Air Force Worldwide Talent Competition, which led to his selection to the band and a six-month, overseas tour spanning 23 countries across Europe, the Pacific, Panama, Honduras, Iceland & Greenland. He continues to work with the AF talent program serving on occasion as Assistant Music Director or arranger.
San Antonio Scene
After completing the Tops-in-Blue tour, Chris was re-assigned back to San Antonio and formed his own Jazz/R&B band called "Groove Factor". The group disbanded a few years later after his band mates (all military members) got reassigned to other AF installations. He currently plays with other well-known San Antonio bands and musicians to include "Europa Jazz," PM Soul (formerly Planet Soul)," "The Show," and "Second Nature." Chris has also worked as music director and guitarist for some of the local theater groups such as "The Renaissance Guild" and "Aaron Callies Productions." Chris was also one of the guitarist with "James Bennett and the Texas Jubilaires," a gospel quartet and co-produced their debut CD, "You Don't Know."
Church, Family & Future
Chris also channels his musical talent as the guitarist for his local church,Now Word Fellowship and other freelance Jazz and R&B projects. He has been active most recently backing nationally known smooth Jazz artists in concert performances and festivals around San Antonio.
Chris and his wife, Joann, have been married since 1978 and they have two married children, their son Chris II, who is also a professional drummer living in the Dallas area; and their daughter Candice, who is also an avid music lover. Chris and Joann have three grandchildren, Terrence Ray II, Cadence and Christine.
Stay tuned as Chris is currently working on a self-titled CD project to be released in the coming months.