Guitarist Chris Montague is one of the most original and influential musicians to emerge from the UK in recent years, and is widely recognized for his unique skills as a composer and performer. Described by The Guardian as “ruggedly innovative”, he is a founding member of the band Troyka and has garnered a reputation for his distinctive approach to the guitar while being acclaimed for his important contributions to many contemporary recordings.
Chris was born in Gateshead and began playing guitar at an early age and has been fortunate to enjoy a busy performance schedule, playing most major jazz festivals throughout Europe. Some of the musicians and bands Chris has played with have included; Troyka, Benny Greb’s Moving Parts, Django Bates, Kit Downes, Gwilym Simcock, Tim Ries Rolling Stones Project, Charlie Watts, Darryl Jones, Chuck Leavell, Colin Town’s Blue Touch Paper, Mark Lockheart, Nick Smart’s Trogon, Trish Clowe’s Tangent, Rory Simmon’s Monocled Man. In 2006 Chris was a prize winner at the Montreux Jazz Festival International Guitar Competition.
Troyka’s second album ‘Moxxy’ was released on Edition records to glowing reviews in June 2012. This led to the band being named as one of the top ten live acts in London by Timeout magazine, alongside Hot Chip, The XX, Plan B and Micachu. In June 2012 Troyka were also featured on the front cover of Jazzwise magazine. November 2013 saw the release of Troyka’s 3rd album, a live big band album recorded at Cheltenham Jazz Festival and released on Impossible Ark Records.
As a composer Chris has received several commissions to write for different ensembles including the Royal Academy of Music Big Band, the Threads Orchestra and pieces for the 2013 EFG London Jazz Festival. Chris’ music has been the subject of a feature on BBC radio 3 and he is regularly included in many live broadcasts for various projects and radio stations.
Chris was selected to be involved with the Take 5 artist development scheme in 2013 and was made an associate member of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM) in 2013, an award that recognises former students for their contribution to the music environment in which they have been active since graduating.
“He can be both mesmerisingly tender and stingingly explosive, drawing from contemporary jazz guitar heroes such as Bill Frisell as much as he does Wayne Krantz.”
“Troyka..The best of the bands currently working within London’s vibrant jazz scene? We’d say so.”
‘Guitarist Montague is fast emerging as one of the most imaginatively skilled young axesmith’s on the London scene, standing out from the increasing talented six-stringers with his own angular yet melodic style, and some serious virtuosity.’
‘There are more ideas packed into the 45 minutes of Troyka’s first album than a lesser band might get through in an average career….Cerebral without being self conscious, playful without seeming glib, this fine debut is simply bursting with intelligence and wit.’
‘Its nimble music, the composing is original and as modern as the minute, and the virtuosity and power of the jamming makes your hair stand on end.’
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