Chris Mondak

Chris Mondak

Musicians | Instrument: Bass | Location: Nashville

One of the talented young lions of the jazz world today.

—Edward Blanco, All About Jazz

Updated: March 7, 2024

Born: February 13, 1998

Born in Venezuela, raised in Illinois, and now residing in Nashville, composer and bassist Chris Mondak, just 23 years of age, already has amassed vast experience in jazz. A 2020 graduate of the New England Conservatory, Chris has studied with bass luminaries Cecil McBee, Dave Holland, and Larry Gray, and performed with the likes of Shelly Berg, Melanie Charles, Dave Douglas, Wayne Escoffery, Wycliffe Gordon, Jeff Hamilton, Jesus Molina, Matt Savage, and Marvin Stamm.

Chris has toured extensively in the U.S., playing with the Jazz band of America, jazz vocalist Daniel LeClaire, Chicago rock band Rev Gusto, and his own jazz combos The Chris Mondak Band and West of Staley. Chris also has performed in Australia, Mexico, and Panama, and he has toured twice throughout China as a member of the Nextgen Jazz Quartet.

As a composer, Chris wrote all of the tracks on his solo CDs Glass Spheres (Summit Records, 2022) and Eternal Youth (2019), and he contributed tracks to the Nextgen Jazz Quartet's CD Starlight, West of Staley's You Gotta Start Somewhere, and his high school rock band NxT's release Sounds Familiar.


2019, 1st place at the Hengqin Cup Jazz Competition in Zhuhai, China, best original composition, for "Always Smiling"


All About Jazz Articles

Album Review

Chris Mondak: Blank With Colour

Read "Blank With Colour" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

Chris Mondak is a fine, NEC-trained bassist who works in a variety of genres. But this recording really has him in a secondary role, as part of the rhythm section of what must be a version of his working band. The band is good; funky from soft to shout, turn up the volume. Dan Hitchcock's lead sax voice is strong throughout, and Jack Macklin and Gabe Feldman work very well with him. The rhythm section is terrific and provides the ...

Album Review

Chris Mondak: Glass Spheres

Read "Glass Spheres" reviewed by Kyle Simpler

Until now, bassist Chris Mondak has been impressing only live audiences. With his album debut, Glass Spheres, he hopes to connect with a wider audience. Mondak's life has been far from ordinary. He was born in Venezuela and raised in Illinois. While in high school, he was awarded Illinois All-State Musician three times and received numerous other honors. Later, he earned a Bachelor of Music degree at The New England Conservatory of music, where he studied with Dave Holland and ...

Album Review

Chris Mondak: Glass Spheres

Read "Glass Spheres" reviewed by Edward Blanco

The 24-year-old Venezuelan-born bassist and composer Chris Mondak presents his latest recording of exciting new jazz on the varied Glass Spheres, offering an intriguing and absorbing selection of originals that explores a range of styles from swing, pop and bebop to avant-garde. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Mondak and his band have become a regular feature in Nashville's burgeoning jazz scene after a brief history of performing in venues from Cleveland to Chicago and New York as well as internationally including ...

Album Review

Chris Mondak: Eternal Youth

Read "Eternal Youth" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Chris Mondak is a 21-year-old bassist who has already racked up some impressive jazz experiences, studying with Cecil McBee and Dave Holland, and playing with the likes of Jeff Hamilton, Dave Douglas and Wycliffe Gordon. His first CD is mostly made up of his own compositions, which vary between conventional acoustic jazz motifs and funkier electric fusion grooves. Two of his originals are actually based on jazz standards; “Voyage Maid" is a speeded-up variation on Herbie Hancock's “Maiden ...

Album Review

Chris Mondak: Eternal Youth

Read "Eternal Youth" reviewed by Don Phipps

New England Conservatory of Music student Chris Mondak's Eternal Youth harkens back to early and hard-bop eras. Mondak, who has studied with Dave Holland and Cecil McBee, composed all of the songs (with the sole exception of “Be Honest with Yourself," which was co-written with his grandfather, Art Mondak). The music has a West Coast—Pacific Jazz feel. Mondak includes ballads on this offering and adds the invigorating Charlie Parker-like “Du Wow," which sounds like it could have been staged at ...

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"(Mondak) steps out as leader of an impressive young quintet, venturing assuredly over Mondak's well-crafted compositions...Glass Spheres was recorded in a single day in Nashville, old-school style, and has an infectious and organic live feel."—Josef Woodward, DownBeat "Born in Venezuela, educated by Dave Holland and now living in Nashville, the still wet behind the ears jazzbo knows how to swing and groove and move things along with the best of them. A tasty outing that seems to have been made for laid back evenings with adulterated coffee drinks at hand, it's amazing how a 24 year old can have deep enough chops that you feel like an adult just for listening

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Skunk Funk

From: Blank With Colour
By Chris Mondak