Chris Dingman began piano and percussion studies at an early age in his hometown of San Jose, CA. Upon moving to the east coast at the age of 18, he discovered the instrument that would become his life’s passion: the vibraphone. Since then, Chris has had the opportunity to perform, study, and travel with many of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. As a composer, performer, and teacher, Chris fuses numerous cultural and stylistic influences into a progressive approach to the vibraphone in improvisational music.
In 2007, Chris received his Master of Music degree from the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Chris was one of only seven musicians selected by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Terence Blanchard to participate in the two year program starting in 2005. At the Institute, Chris had the opportunity to study with Terence Blanchard, Ron Carter, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, Jerry Bergonzi, Wynton Marsalis, Jason Moran, Lewis Nash, Hal Crook, Stefan Harris, John Magnussen, Vince Mendoza, Russell Ferrante, and many others.
Chris received his B.A. with honors in music from Wesleyan University in 2002. At Wesleyan, Chris studied intensively with vibraphonist Jay Hoggard, drummer Pheeroan AkLaff, composer/multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton, and mridangist David Nelson. Chris was heavily involved in the world music program at Wesleyan, studying South Indian, West African, Korean, Afro-Cuban, and Brazilian music. In the summer of 2000, his studies brought him to Kerala, India to study mridangam and South Indian classical music.
In November of 2005, Chris traveled with the Monk Institute ensemble on a U.S. State Department tour of Vietnam, where they performed with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and Nneena Freelon in concerts and master classes in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. In January of 2007, Chris traveled again with Hancock and Shorter, this time to Mumbai, Calcutta, New Delhi, and Agra, India, where they performed for capacity crowds and presented clinics at the Ravi Shankar Institute in Delhi and St. John’s School in Mumbai.
Chris has recently moved back to New York City and is currently working in groups led by Ambrose Akinmusire, Harris Eisenstadt, Steve Lehman, Adam Rudolph, Tyshawn Sorey, Keith Witty, and many others. His most recent recording efforts as a sideman include the albums On Meaning by Steve Lehman, and Prelude: to Cora by Ambrose Akinmusire. As a leader, Chris is working on compositions for two new projects, to be debuted in 2008. from Chris Dingman