CHRIS MINH DOKY
Chris Minh Doky stands out as one of the most talented bass players in contemporary music. The New York-based artist is regarded among the masters of the upright bass widely recognized for his passionate delivery and extraordinary technical gifts. As expressed by Down Beat Magazine: ”...there is a softness and crisp clarity that is very different from the sound others derive from the acoustic instrument”, Doky carries on the distinct Danish bass tradition of the acoustic bass being a lead instrument. With musical roots deriving from his love of American East Coast grooves and the lyric tradition of Scandinavia, Doky has developed a distinctive sound as well as created a style that is uniquely his own.
Doky’s rare ability to perform with equal creativity and dynamism as both a solo artist and as a sideman has put him on the list of Top Ten Bassists in Reader’s Polls and earned him Artist of the Year awards as well as platinum- awarded sales. Parallel to leading his own band, Doky continues to play with some of the most significant jazz artists of today. Being an integral part of the Michael Brecker Quartet since 2001, he is also currently playing and touring with the Mike Stern Band.
Over the years, Doky has released seven solo albums, including the highly praised Cinematique and the most recent electronica-jazz album The Nomad Diaries. Besides co-leading two recordings with his brother he is also appearing on countless recordings as a sideman. And with his great musical sense, Doky is increasingly in demand for soundtracks and as a producer for both jazz and pop artists.
Doky was born into a musical family in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1969 to a Vietnamese father and a Danish mother. Motivated and taught by his father, Doky commenced playing the piano at age six. He won several awards attending local classical piano competitions. By a twist of faith he picked up the electric bass while in high school. A passionate fan of groups like Earth, Wind & Fire, the teenager played in different funk bands. But it was the Miles Davis album ”My Funny Valentine” that introduced him to the jazz tradition at age 16. A year later, he switched to his signature instrument, the acoustic bass. Before long he became a sought-after bassist at jazz clubs around Copenhagen.
After high school, the 18 year old left home for New York City, determined to explore the jazz tradition first hand. Here, he began working in the studios and gigging in the clubs of Manhattan with other young, up and coming musicians such as pianist Joey Calderazzo, whom Doky would later meet again playing with legendary saxophonist Michael Brecker. Soon proving to be not only an excellent sideman but also an inventive soloist, Doky got his first big break in 1991 when Mike Stern asked the talented bass player to join his band. By 1992, Doky was getting firmly established on the international jazz scene and earning a reputation as one of the top bassists in New York. Much in demand, he found himself playing with some of the great musicians he had been listening to growing up, including David Sanborn, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Michele Camilo, Trilok Gurtu, and Bireli Lagrene.