Christopher J. Coles is a graduate of Cleveland South High School (2004). In 2009 Chris received his Bachelor Degree in Saxophone Performance from Youngstown State University. It was here that he studied with world-renowned saxophonist and educator Dr. James C. Umble, jazz saxophonist Dr. Kent Englehardt, and jazz bassist and composer Dr. David Morgan. In 2012, Chris received his Master Degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Akron. Chris is currently on faculty at Kent State University and the Aurora School of Music.
Chris has performed with many local and international jazz musicians such as, Eddie Baccus Sr., Melvin Burks, Kenny Davis, Glenn Holmes, Bill Ransom, and Cecil Rucker, Grammy Award winner Slide Hampton, Ralph Lalama, and Allen Vizzutti. Coles recently was accepted to perform in Italy with the Ohio Youth Jazz Orchestra. It was here that Coles performed with Wessell Anderson, lead alto saxophonist for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.
Some of Chris’s recent accomplishments include being a participant at The Banff Workshop for Jazz and Creative music in Alberta, Canada. It was there that Chris had the distinct honor of studying with some of the great pioneers in jazz today such as Vijay Iyer, Mark Turner, Imani Izuri, Tia Fuller, Billy Hart, Ingrid Jensen, Zakir Hussain, Somi, Vosany Terry, and Miles Okazaki to name a few. Chris also played at the North American Saxophone Alliance Regional Festival in West Virginia with the Dana Saxophone quartet, performing at the International Saxophone Symposium in Washington D.C., and premiering a commissioned work by John Hollenbeck at the Whitney Art Museum Composers Workshop. Coles also recorded this work on John Hollenbeck’s album Rainbow Jimmies released in 2009.