Chris Klaxton has developed a reputation as a gifted multi-instrumentalist and imaginative composer—and equal to his passion for performing is his commitment to education.
As a performer, Klaxton contributes trumpet, keyboards, guitar, and percussion to a variety of projects running the stylistic gamut. His self-led 8-piece ensemble has recorded two albums of original music (STARCODE and COLLAGE) which display Klaxton’s eclectic palette, a unique approach to the jazz tradition, and a fertile imagination. In 2015 Klaxton founded OURBIGBAND, a New England-based large ensemble dedicated to performing new music. The band’s 2016 collaboration with famed trumpeter / composer, Dave Douglas, featured a program of Douglas’ large ensemble music as well as a premiere of Self Portrait in Four Dimensions (dedicated to Charles Mingus).
Years of study, travel managing, and friendship with famed trumpeter Clark Terry, has left him saturated with lessons and anecdotes (musical and otherwise). He is proud to pass on a repertoire unique to Clark, a system of phrasing and rhythmic pronunciation, and a means of conveyance handed down directly from one of the founding fathers of the music. With degrees in both classical and jazz trumpet, Klaxton has received a rich and varied education, studying with: Brian Lynch, Terence Blanchard, Jason Carder, Dr. Robert Stibler, Stephen Guerra, Whit Sidener, and Gary Lindsay.
In addition to Longy, he is on faculty at the University of Southern Maine, Plymouth State University, Portsmouth Music and Arts Center (PMAC), and Southern New Hampshire University, teaching jazz trumpet, classical trumpet, jazz piano, composition, theory, and coaches ensembles. He is also an in demand clinician, adjudicator, private instructor, and serves as choir director for First Parish Federated Church in South Berwick, Maine.