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                                                                               A musical resurrection 


The Chris James Quartet (CJQ) features four fantastic musicians who have toured and played with countless well-known national artists. They add their own funky, upbeat, flare to a wide range of songs ranging from Brubeck to the Beatles. Guest vocalists and musicians will often join them.

Chris James, Piano   -   Osama Affif, Bass  -  Wayne Ledbetter, Sax  -  Wade Reeves, Drums

Chris James, Piano

Highlights 1980 to 1993

Chris JamesThe Chris James Quartet was popular during the 1980’s and early 90’s. The group featured Vibraphonist Tommy Kesecker, Drummer Paul Van Wageningen, and Bassist Scoop McGuire.  The group released its first album “Dessert” in 1986, with guest artist Richie Cole.  It was released nationally through Catero Records (Fred Catero, of CBS Records fame). “Dessert” received national radio airplay and excellent recognition. 

In 1984 Chris set up a talent agency that specialized in jazz festivals and ship board jazz theme cruises.  It was through this connection that Chris built relationships, played with, and opened for the world's top jazz talent. 

1993 to 2004

In 1998 Chris released a solo album “Piano Christmas” on the Nature Quest label. The CD has received excellent reviews and distribution nationally in Target and Wal Mart stores. This project was recorded at Laughing Coyote Studios with Spencer Brewer as producer.  The project fulfilled his goal of marrying his expertise as a musician, producer, and as a Christian, recording music that glorifies God.

In 1998 Chris was picked to musically direct the Power of God Band; a 17 piece worship band of Christian music “all-stars”.  This group has released three live CD’s in 1999, 2000 and 2001. In his capacity as music director he had had the privilege of working with Phil Driscol, Ron Kenoly, Paul Baloche, Bob Kilpatrick, Terry Clark, Go Fish, Ashley Cleveland, Steve Camp and many others.

In 2002 Chris decided to close his technical recruiting business in California, and he became the Minister of Music and Media at St. Andrew's Church, in Little Rock Arkansas.  It was there that Chris became introduced to the Little Rock Christian Music and Jazz Music scene.  It was a perfect blend of Chris' loves of music and ministry.  Chris met Dave Rogers, a local jazz drumming legend, at The Afterthought, which has been a Little Rock jazz tradition on Monday Nights for over 25 years. Dave introduced Chris to Joe Vick, and the modern Chris James Trio was reborn.

2005 to present

Chris re-entered the Corporate world as a leader in the Human Resources field of recruiting. He worked for Microsoft from 2005 to 2011, Apple in 2011 to 2012, Amazon from 2012 to 2014, and currently runs an Executive Recruiting firm.

Chris' current work is allowing him to devote spare time to music and ministry by playing at St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic Church every Sunday evening at 5:30.

The New Chris James Quartet has just being formed featuring the following players:

Osama Afifi, Bass

Osama Afifi is an Upright and Electric Bassist who has been part of the West Coast music scene since 1981. In his early years he performed with R&B Legends the Cadillacs and the 5th Dimension. He also worked with the Brian Maclean band (formerly of the band Love) featuring Maria Mckee, and Charles Conners (Original Drummer for Little Richard).

Osama has recorded and performed live with many artists, including U.S. and Canadian tours with Yanni, Vanessa Paradis, and John Densmore's Tribal Jazz. He appeared on VH1's show "Storytellers" with The Doors. Osama performed at the R&B Live Theater with Billy Preston, Stacy Lattisaw, Mickey Howard and Hamish Stuart (Average white Band). He has also worked with Kurt Elling, Nnenna Freelon, Mindi Abair, Jeff Kashiwa, Gary Herbig, Kei Akagi, Hugo Jojo, and trumpeter Tony Guerrero.

For several years he was the bassist for the B Sharp Jazz Quartet. The Quartet toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe. They performed at the North Sea, Istanbul, Nice, Brecon, Umbria, and Monterey Jazz Festivals, just to name a few. The Quartet was recognized in the All Music Guide to Jazz book published in 1998. Osama co-wrote a song entitled "Nami" that is featured on the group's CD Searching for the One. The song was quoted as "a future Jazz standard" by “Billboard Magazine”. KLON, a Los Angeles jazz radio station, chose "Nami" to be on their members only compilation CD.

Since moving to the Pacific Northwest he has worked with the Tacoma Symphony, Judy Collins, Kareem Kandi Quartet, Darren Motamedy, David Keys, Hook Me Up, Gail Pettis, Michael Powers and many others. He also continues to record numerous jingles and TV shows, such as Wild Bills Adventure, Battledome, the New Newlywed Game, Toyota, BET, Lizzie MacGuire, Infiniti, Barbie, Hyundai and Tropicana. His education included studies at the Dick Grove School of Music. He also studied with Jeff Berlin and Gary Willis. He has taught at the Los Angeles Music Academy in Pasadena, California and is currently teaching privately in Tacoma Wa.

Wayne Ledbetter, Sax

Wayne Ledbetter has performed with The Drifters, The Coasters, Arturo Sandoval, Stanley Turrentine, Ramsey Lewis, Keiko Matsui and many more. He is one of the founding members of a 50’s and 60’s variety show called Wally & The Beaves and musical director for Danny Vernon’s “Illusion of Elvis” show. Since being back in the Seattle area, he has performed with The Hitmen, The Edsels and The Billy Shew Band, the Tacoma Concert Band and the South South Sound Symphonic Band and many more.

Wade Reeves, Drums

WadeLaying down the groove is Canadian born drummer Wade Reeves. Wade's history is quite diverse. He has worked with many national artists; Richard Marks, The Beach Boys, The Ramones and many more. He has always been recognized as a "natural," and is versed in all styles of music from "Big Band" and intimate jazz club drumming, to Rock, R+B, Funk and Country. He has an extensive background in Rudimental and Scottish line drumming. Wade is also a well know educator as a drum instructor for the Donn Bennett Drum Shop and private drum lessons at his studio. He also has twenty years of experience behind the console as an audio engineer in his owner operated recording facility.

Chris James Personal Biography

As a childChris Gootherts grew up in the jazz scene of San Francisco in the 1960's and 70's. He took on the stage name of Chris James in the early 1980's.

Chris' father was a locally renowned trumpet player who used to play with all the touring acts performing in the bay area. Jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, and Tony Bennett, as well as playing with local friends Paul Desmond and Cal Tjader. Chris would often sit in the light booth of the Fairmont Hotel Venetian room and watch the big bands with these great artists, then meet them after the show.

Chris' piano playing was also influenced by the era in which he grew up, having shared rehearsal space with Carlos Santana in Sausalito, and loving the classic rock music of the 60's and 70's. His early gigs included performing a variety of dance music for clubs, weddings, and parties that reflected his wide variety of influences. Chris has also consistently performed in churches and eventually began releasing albums in the Christian Worship Music genre.

In 1980 Chris' father suddenly passed away, which triggered a reaction for Chris to focus his musical career in his dad's footsteps: making every effort to become a more accomplished jazz musician. Over the course of the next decade he was able to accomplish this, and won recognition by performing with Stan Getz, Mark Murphy, Richie Cole, and performing at several jazz festivals, including Monterey and Russian River. The Chris James Quartet began touring colleges throughout the United States, and released their first album "Dessert" which received national airplay and numerous positive reviews.

Chris has been privileged to become friends with, and open for, many of his pianist jazz influences: Dave Brubeck, George Shearing, Ramsey Lewis, as well as working with Ray Brown, Milt Jackson, Freddie Hubbard, Carmen McRae, and Stan Getz.

The music business can be quite fickle, and in all truth, Chris' fame exceeded his talent in those early years. So Chris officially left the music business in 1993, but continued to woodshed and hone his skill. This is the period where Chris began performing more with Christian artists such as Paul Baloche, Phil Driscol, Terry Clark, and Ron Kenoly. But he never stopped working on jazz.

2015 is the year of reentering the professional music scene, starting in Seattle with the new Chris James Quartet!

Performed with:

Stan Getz
Richie Cole
Mark Murphy
John Hurd
Billy Higgins
Joyce Cooling
Kitty Margolis
Tommy Kesecker
Paul VanWageningen
Marc VanWageningen
Scott Steed
Bill Douglas
Scoop McGuire

Co-billed with:

Dave Brubeck
Sarah Vaughan
Ramsey Lewis
Carmen McRae
George Shearing
Stan Getz
Ray Brown
Milt Jackson
Modern Jazz Quartet
Nancy Wilson
Freddie Hubbard
Cedar Walton
Bobby Hutchinson
Woody Herman
Billy Eckstein
The Bobs
Tania Maria

Notable Venues:

Monterey Jazz Festival

Russian River Jazz Festival

Holland America Cruise Lines (Jazz Festivals)

Cunard Cruise Line (Jazz Festival)

Great American Music Hall

College Campus Jazz Shows in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma