February 2022, Rehearsal Chris Muller Bigband (photo: Babette Okhuysen)

Chris Muller (Nijmegen, 1998) is an upcoming name within the Dutch jazz scene. He started playing classical piano at a young age but found his passion in jazz soon after. After getting a bachelor’s degree in applied physics at the TU/e at the age of twenty, he decided to start a study jazz piano and was admitted at the Conservatory of Amsterdam (CvA). In Amsterdam he has been studying since 2019, with Rob van Bavel and Karel Boehlee. Chris has shared the stage with musicians as for instance Benjamin Herman, Jasper Blom, Joost Patočka, and played with many orchestras, as for instance the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw.

As a bandleader Chris plays with his own trio, and as a pianist, conductor, and arranger he leads his ‘Chris Muller Bigband’. As well, Chris works together with Steve Galloway, former member of the Basie Bigband, to form the ‘Galloway | Muller Collective’. As sideman Chris is part of multiple bands and orchestras, such as BOSCO and het Brabants Jazz Orkest.

In 2016, Chris took part in the prestigious Prinses Christina Jazz Contest with ‘De PuBi’s’, winning a first prize and the audience price in the large ensemble category. In 2019, Chris took part in the same contest, but this time as a soloist, resulting in a second place. The jury spoke about “very mature jazz”, “outstanding communication” and expressed their appreciation for the brand-new composition Turning Thoughts.

Chris started writing for large ensembles at the age of seventeen as pianist of the Eindhoven Jazz Orchestra. During a three-year period, he learned many basic jazz concepts and gained much experience both playing as arranging-wise. At the CvA he continued his writing and started to study arranging with Henk Huizinga and Jurre Haanstra, and he had the possibility to share is work with arrangers as Rob Horsting, Ilja Reijngoud and Johan Plomp. Chris had the opportunity to work with multiple professional bigbands such as the Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw, the Millenium Jazz Orkest and the Guus Tangelder Bigband.

March 2022, Rehearsal Nachtlicht Ensemble (photo: Defensiekrant)