South African saxophonist and adopted Irishman Chris Engel has cultivated a successful career in jazz and improvised music throughout Europe with his chameleon-like musical talents; adept in small and large ensembles, free improv, contemporary jazz, and latterly electronic music. Born and raised in South Africa, Chris came to Ireland after completing his studies at The Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo.
Chris also has a BMus in Jazz Studies from The South African College Of Music (The University of Cape Town) and has performed at venues and festivals in South Africa, Mozambique, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Croatia, Italy, Dubai, The Netherlands, The UK and Ireland. include Cork Jazz Festival, Bray Jazz Festival, Derry Jazz Festival, Down with Jazz, Kilkenny Arts Festival (performing with Theo Bleckmann, John O'Gallagher and Nils Wogram), Westport Arts Festival, Atina Jazz(Italy), Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Aarhus Jazz Festival, Cape Town International Jazz Festival (where he performed with world renowned American jazz artists Joe McBride, Gerald Veasley and Kenny Blake), the Cape Town Jazzathon and the Grahamstown Jazz Festival (South Africa).
Exploration, collaboration and interaction through improvisation form the foundation of his musical philosophy. With these cornerstones in mind, Chris strives to cover new ground, creatively, with each performance.
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Ian Patterson, All About Jazz“Engel is one of the most arresting instrumentalists on the Irish jazz scene. ”