Chris Harris was born in Memphis, Tennessee with an intense passion for music. Classical, Bluegrass, Rock - and anything involving the mandolin - are some of the major influences for this incredibly soulful, Southern guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. It only makes sense that an interest in so many different types of music resulted in Chris being the versatile musician that he is. It is also what makes him a guitarist capable of backing a new artist each week at the extremely popular Suite Jazz Series in Atlanta, hosted at the Suite Food Lounge. Since 2015, as part of the Suite Jazz Band, Chris has played for Chuck Loeb, Nathan East, Eric Marienthal, Jeff Lorber, James Lloyd, Chante Moore, Maysa, Lindsey Webster, Everette Harp, Brian Bromberg, Andy Snitzer, Rick Braun, Euge Groove, Eric Darius, Karen Briggs and many others. And all with high acclaim:
“ATL's finest, Chris Harris, brings it on guitar along with impeccable taste, tone, time, touch & technique (the 5 Ts) and one of the greatest cats ever, it's always a joy to play with my friend, Chris!” -Nathan East
“Playing with Chris was a very positive experience. He is a solid rhythm guitarist who stepped out with impressive and imaginative solos when asked." -Jeff Lorber
“A lot of times when we travel, the only option is to pick up a band in the city we are playing or use a house band. The first time I played with the Suite Jazz Band, Chris stuck out because he had clearly taken the time to learn and ingest the music. I was impressed!” -Lindsey Webster
“Chris is one of most versatile guitar players I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. He has such great and unique sounds and feel on both acoustic and electric. Plus, he’s got chops for days! It’s always an inspiring experience to share the stage with him!” -Eric Marienthal
“Chris Harris is a great addition to the Pieces family. He's a great joy to have and be around onstage and off. One of his best qualities is that he doesn't know how bad he is, which means he will continue to grow and strive for more." James Lloyd
"Chris played my show for the first time like he had been playing my show for years. He's part of a small group that can pull that off. What a pleasure!” -Euge Groove
In addition to backing the biggest names in Jazz, Smooth Jazz & R&B, Chris is featured as lead guitarist of Pieces Of A Dream. He landed the gig after meeting and playing with Pieces, coincidentally on his first day on the job at Suite. James Lloyd, a founding member of Pieces of a Dream, says that “Chris Harris is a great addition to the Pieces family. He’s a great joy to have and be around onstage and off. One of his best qualities is that he doesn’t know how bad he is, which means he will continue to grow and strive for more.”
Chris is also the choice guitarist for other big names and has performed and/or recorded with Bobby Brown, TLC, Sonny Emory, Stanley Jordan, Josh Vietti, Ken Ford, Michael Lington, & Mike Phillips. It’s landed him shows playing in some of the most highly esteemed venues all over the world.
It is not only Harris’s ability to learn the artists’ music inside out that puts him in such high demand. More importantly, it is the fire that is almost palpable as he burns solos with all of his heart and soul. The fire started at an early age and gave Chris is very first gig when he was only 12. Though his parents weren’t thrilled with the work environment, frequently in bars and clubs late at night, they still encouraged him to follow his dream. With the support of his family, he practiced and played all throughout his teen years. He auditioned for and was accepted into the Overton High School for the Performing Arts when he was 16, where Chris dedicated all of his time to perfecting his craft. During these years, Chris was a percussionist in the school’s award-winning marching and concert band, played violin in the orchestra and was guitarist in the jazz band. Even still, Chris couldn’t get enough, so he also studied classical guitar in Rhodes College Junior Program, all the while maintaining a busy gigging schedule with local bands performing in various venues across Memphis.
In his senior year, Chris was awarded a position in the NARAS All American Jazz Band which brought him too L.A. where he performed at the Grammy Awards Ceremony. It also provided the band with the opportunity to record at the legendary Capitol Records during their visit.
Upon returning to Memphis, college was the next step for a then 18-year-old Harris. Chris applied for and won a scholarship to the University of Memphis, where he studied classical guitar and played violin in the orchestra. Shortly thereafter, though, Chris was offered the opportunity of a lifetime when he was chosen for Guitar World Magazine’s Jason Becker Scholarship to the Atlanta Institute of Music & Media. That’s when things really started to develop for Chris.
Only two months after moving to Atlanta to attend AIMM, Harris caught the attention of Warner Bros. signed rock band, Cool For August, and began five years of touring across the U.S., Canada, and Europe, opening for Matchbox 20, Creed, & The Foo Fighters, among the most notable. When Cool For August ended their touring, Chris decided he would return to Atlanta to begin his teaching career and continue to play locally. Chris provided both children and adults with lessons on the violin, viola, mandolin, and guitar.
Chris currently resides in the Northern Georgia Mountains, about 90 minutes from Atlanta. A gifted composer, Chris has plans to begin the writing and recording of his first solo project, while continuing to provide session work from his home studio. He is also an incredibly talented instructor and loves teaching just as much as performing. You can find Chris on tour with Pieces of a Dream, and also with many other artists, playing in venues and festivals all over the world.