Chris Pitsiokos (b. 1990) is a Brooklyn-based saxophonist, composer and improviser. His compositions often provide a framework for performers to express a singular aesthetic vision without subjugating their voices as creative elements in their own right. In this way his work contrasts with traditional modes of composition in which the composer or band leader is the sole, or primary arbiter of a unified, preconceived vision.
Chris has been praised by Rolling Stone for his "startlingly original vision" and "astonishingly fleet sax work." Downbeat has identified his band CP Unit as "a persuasive combination of harmolodic jazz and contemporary noise rock." As a soloist he has developed a unique voice on the alto saxophone: his expansion of the instrument's vocabulary has served to multiply its emotive and formal capabilities.
As a bandleader and soloist he has toured throughout the US, Japan and Europe. In 2016 he was a resident at John Zorn's club the Stone and contributed to Arcana, a series of books edited by Zorn. In 2017 he had a solo concert at ISSUE Project Room in New York, toured Europe with CP Unit for the first time, and toured Japan as a soloist and performed with luminaries Otomo Yoshihide, Sachiko M, Tatsuya Yoshida, Makigami Koichi, and Jojo Hiroshige (Hijokaidan). 2018 was marked by a busy festival touring schedule, including (but not limited to) two European tours with CP Unit and a duo tour with Otomo Yoshihide. He has also worked with Nate Wooley, Paul Lytton, Peter Evans, Weasel Walter, Jaimie Branch, and Tyshawn Sorey. In Spring 2019 he will tour South America for the first time.
Pitsiokos serves on the editorial board of, and writes for, Sound American.
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