“As an active Broadway musician, I must juggle many instruments, playing each at the highest level, eight performances a week. That is why I need professional reeds, of the highest caliber, that perform consistently night after night. The valuable time and energy saved by not having to fuss with the limitations of cane reeds is more time and energy I can devote to practice, composition, and music making.” – Chris Reza
A multi-instrumentalist, composer, lyricist, bookwriter and educator, Chris Reza plays 16 woodwinds including flutes, single and double reeds. Having performed in 38 musicals in the past 8 years, he played in Broadway’s 5-time Tony Award-winning musical, “Fun Home”. Chris is featured on Fun Home’s Broadway and Off-Broadway original cast recordings, beginning the opening number with the show’s notable English Horn solo. He formerly subbed in the Broadway productions of “The Book of Mormon, Matilda”, “Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark”, and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” starring Daniel Radcliffe. He also performed as a local musician in the most recent national tours of “Anything Goes” and “Jekyll & Hyde”.
As a composer, Chris’ recent commissions include a concert piece premiered by the 38-year English Horn veteran of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Thomas Stacy, and Grammy Award-Winning multi-instrumentalist, Mr. Paul McCandless. Chris’ music has been performed on three continents.
Chris wrote the book, music and lyrics to “Question 1”, a new satirical musical dramedy about a closeted politician who becomes the center of Maine’s 2009 same-sex marriage debate. The show explores how the choices we make determine whether each of us contributes strife or kindness to humanity. Question 1 had its first public presentation in New York City last November and featured a cast of actors from the Broadway productions of “Fun Home”, “A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder”, “Rock of Ages”, “Annie”, “Three Penny Opera”, “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”, “Spamalot”, and “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”. Question 1 is continuing its development with an upcoming workshop, so visit www.Question1Musical.com to learn more.
Chris holds a Masters Degree in Jazz Composition from the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with the world-renowned Grammy Award-Winning composer/pianist, Jim McNeely, and Grammy-nominated composer Dr. Edward Green. Furthermore, Chris holds two Bachelors Degrees from the University of North Texas (UNT) in Multiple Woodwinds Performance and Jazz Studies Performance.
Additional work includes performances with distinguished individuals and ensembles such as Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Anika Noni Rose, Michael Cerveris, Marc Shaiman, Maureen McGovern, Jenn Colella, Lyle Mays, Grammy-nominated One O'Clock Lab Band, Plano Symphony Orchestra, Lone Star Wind Orchestra, UNT Wind Symphony, and numerous other ensembles. Chris is featured on the original cast recordings of the musicals “A Second Chance” and “Tokio Confidential” as well multiple albums by the UNT Wind Symphony and the 2 O’Clock Lab Band.
With over 10 years of experience privately teaching composition, saxophone, clarinet, oboe, and flute to grade levels 4 through college, Chris is also a recurring guest lecturer at the Manhattan School of Music on topics such as “jazz in musical theater” and “music and dance in musical theater.”
Greenroom Conversations, a podcast dedicated to inspiring students and those finding their own path to “making it” in the performing arts, featured Chris Reza on his experiences breaking into the Broadway scene. The interview is available here.
Credit: Photograph courtesy of Jenny Anderson