WHAT: Chris Bieniek Fusion performs feat Gerry Pantazis (drums) and Gavin Pearce (bass)
WHEN: Saturday March 4 at 11.30am
WHERE: Whammy Bar Level 2
The catalyst was hearing a young guitarist at high school play the melody to the Michael Jackson song ‘Give in to me’ on an electric guitar. ‘What?!!’… ‘You can play the music that someone sings on a guitar?!!’ This blew his mind, so he grabbed his Dad’s old acoustic & began a feverish obsession with playing that continues to this day. Then came the discovery of Jimi Hendrix’s music. After the Hendrix obsession, he began listening to players like Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, Allan Holdsworth, Frank Gambale & the Chick Corea Elektric Band which paved the way to developing a love for Jazz, Jazz Fusion & everything in between. Two years later at age 15, Chris was accepted into the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School (VCASS) which led to an appreciation of players including Wes Montgomery, Charlie Christian, John Scofield, Pat Metheny & Wayne Krantz. At age 18, he was accepted into the Victorian College of the Arts where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music Performance degree in 2001.
Before graduating, Chris had already begun a professional music career playing all over Melbourne in Jazz clubs, original music, big bands, acid jazz, funk & r&b groups and with several cover, tribute and pub and corporate bands. During his career of over 20 years, Chris has also played on the professional theatre scene (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) and performed on stage with some of Australia’s most well known artists including James Morrison, John Foreman, The Australian Pops Orchestra, Rob Mills (Australian Idol), Anthony Callea, Tim Watson (TaxiRide), Adam Thompson (Chocolate Starfish), Silvie Paladino, Marina Prior, Kate Ceberano, Italian Crooner Patrizio Buanne & Richard O’Brien, the creator of the Rocky Horror Picture Show – ‘I just love the solos Chris came up with during the show, virtuosic & just simply incredible’
Locally, Chris is renowned for his virtuosity and chameleon like ability to adapt to both rock and jazz performance situations.
Through teaching, Chris has helped prepare several students who were accepted into VCASS (Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School) and Victorian College of the Arts, as well as eight year’s experience teaching guitar, masterclasses & ensembles at AIM (Australian Institute of Music) and Victoria University.
Chris has performed during the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and as a solo artist at the Melbourne Guitar Show. He has also recorded two albums with EQ (Melbourne Fusion) group as well as having his own debut album ‘The Velvet Worm’. Chris’s next album is currently being recorded and is on track to giving listeners a representation of the next level of development as a player.