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Professor Christopher Collins


Chris Collins is a professional jazz woodwind player who has toured throughout Japan, South Africa, Europe and North America as the leader of his own ensembles and as a featured soloist. In 2008-09, Collins performed his original works in 7 countries on 4 continents.

He has played professionally with artists including the Phil Collins Big Band, Doc Severensen, Mel Torme, Michael Feinstein, Lou Rawls and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at jazz festivals including: Cork, Ireland, Montreux-Switzerland, Pori, Nice, North Sea, and Glasgow.

His most recent CD release "Electo-Monk, Acoustic-Funk" (2009), fuses techno and acoustic jazz with stunning originality. His successful “Jazz from the Shamrock Shore” (Harriett Jazz/ASCAP) features extended compositions which artistically combine the instrumentation, musical vocabulary and repertoire of the Irish folk tradition with American Jazz.

In addition to his work on commercial recordings and film soundtracks, including the soundtrack for the award winning Paramount Pictures release "The Big Night", and Television series Leverage and the Librarian. Collins's jazz solo work can be heard on the CD releases "A Hot Night In Paris" The Phil Collins Big Band (Atlantic), "Twilight: Collins Quartet with vocalist Harvey Thompson", "Urban Solitude" Chris Collins Quartet (Harriett Jazz), “A Time To Mourn, A Time To Dance” (Harriett Jazz/ ASCAP), and "Watching For Watchung Plaza" The John Cooper Quintet. Collins's work has received recognition from Billboard Magazine, Detroit Jazz Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, The Detroit News, and the International Association of Jazz Educators.

Collins is Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He has presented numerous workshops and residencies around the world including presentations at Ishimori's in Tokyo Japan, The Rampone Saxophone Museum in Quarna, Italy, The South African Jazz Educators Conference in Durbin, Capetown, and Grahamstown, South Africa, The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, and at numerous national I.A.J.E. conferences on topics including jazz saxophone/improvisation and distance jazz education. He has also contributed several articles to the Jazz Educators Journal including cover stories on Joe Lovano, Chick Corea, David Liebman, and Joe Zawinul.




“The man has so much to say and so much technique and improvisatory imagination with which to say it - that a single listening to this recording will not suffice.” Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

"Collins's playing will amaze the listener..." David Franklin, Jazz Times

Collins, the principal soloist/composer/arranger on this date, has seamlessly woven together traditional Irish threads with jazz.

He concentrates on his warm lyrical clarinet work..a welcome sound...

Collins has succeeded in creating an accessible recording without compromising his musical integrity...David Dupont, Cadence Magazine, New York

The whole album is a delight, with strong melodies, shifting moods and textures, and strong jazz solos.

...I knew him as a highly skilled tenor player. It turns out that he is equally adept at the clarinet...

On "Swan’s Lullaby" he offers a heartfelt, warm clarinet solo that puts to bed any notions that the wood horn is not suited to modern jazz. This fine impression is maintained throughout. is the clarinet playing that dominates this recital... he can play this instrument as well as anyone around. Piotr Michalowski, Southeastern Michigan Jazz Update

"(The Irish Suite) is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard." Mitch Albom, MSNBC and author of "Tuesdays with Morrie"

“Collins combines a gutsy tenor sound with a flying line, rhythmic bite, sudden volcanic shifts and interjections.... it’s an engaging style, post-bob enlivened by touches of r&b and what was once avant-garde.” Stewart Broomer, Cadence Magazine, New York

“Christopher Collins has got to be the most dynamic, hard-charging and challenging tenor sax voice on the scene today.” Mitch Genova, Detroit Jazz Magazine

“My favorite things....Marveling at Christopher Collins’ mastery of the tenor saxophone on his long-awaited CD “ A Time To Mourn A Time To Dance” Bob Talbort, Detroit Free Press

“Chris Collins has a unique solo voice . Nuances of phrasing, the sound he gets on the horn, and his oblique humor all define this outstanding player.