Chris Coyle is a bassist, composer, and music educator. Based in Philadelphia, PA, he can be found working throughout Northeast and Midwest U.S. in a plethora of situations.
Chris was raised near Reading, PA and grew up absorbing ideas from his creative and musical family. On any given night, the house stereo system was blaring everything from Willie Nelson to Stevie Wonder, from The Talking Heads to Verdi’s La Traviata. After dabbling in Piano, Violin, and Guitar, Chris ended up sticking with the double bass as his main instrument. From a young age Chris discovered a knack for improvisation, composition, and exploration. Whether it was through playing jazz gigs, listening to ethno-music, or arranging for various instruments, he learned, slowly but steadily, about music in its many contexts. After Chris graduated from Temple University’s Boyer College of Music, doors of opportunity opened rapidly. He began playing with many of Philadelphia’s Jazz greats (Duane Eubanks, Steve Giordano, Tom Lawton, Joanna Pascale, and John Swana to name a few) and also developed a love for classical bass repertoire. As Chris spent more time networking he found himself playing in a plethora of different situations. Orchestral playing took him to music halls including Carnegie Hall and the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall. Singer-songwriters Keisha Hutchins and Gillian Grassie used his bass playing on full length albums, on the NBC 10 show, and at venues such as World Cafe Live, The Tin Angel, Rockwood Music Hall and Joe’s Pub (NYC). His other projects (Brazilian, Bluegrass, Klezmer, Silent Film, etc.) have had him playing all over the Northeast and beyond in theaters, clubs, and small dives with rich musical histories. Chris now also plays in the up-and-coming group Son Step, a talented electro/folk/indie band that has been recording and playing throughout the Northeast and the Midwest.
Composition has long been a passion for Chris, particularly so with music that is based on inspiration from other art-forms or specific sources. He has written a piece inspired by author John Updike’s “Rabbit” series, has performed and improvised alongside silent films such as Battleship Potempkin and Nosferatu, and has performed avant original pieces and arrangements inside Philadelphia’s historic Eastern State Penitentiary. His latest project, Outside Sound, has him writing music inspired by artwork done by adults with mental and intellectual disabilities. He has done residencies at art programs in Philadelphia and Boston, working with the artists, recording music, and documenting their artwork.
Chris has spent much of his time sharing his musical experiences through private lessons, clinics, and workshops throughout southeast PA and New Jersey. He currently resides in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia and in his free time he enjoys things like hiking, ethnic food hunting, and brainstorming.