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Chris Allard

Award-winning guitarist Chris Allard works with many top artists, and has performed at major festivals and prestigious venues around the world, including the Barbican Hall, Montreux Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott’s, Nuremberg Festival, Hackney Empire, Midem Festival Cannes, Maison Musique Torino Italy, The Queen Elizabeth Hall, Giverny Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Brighton Dome, Duoro Jazz Festival Portugal, The Royal Festival Hall. Chris has worked with Jacqui Dankworth, Russell Watson, Charlie Wood, Tim Garland, John Helliwell (Supertramp), Gwyneth Herbert, Dave O’Higgins, Dame Cleo Laine, Sir John Dankworth, Steve Waterman, Carleen Anderson, Claire Martin, Paul Roberts (The Stranglers), Jamie Cullum, Mike Walker, Dylan Howe, Steve Furst, Kate Dimbleby, Tom Richards, Madeline Bell, Gwilym Simcock, the BBC Big Band, Ken Peplowski, to name but a few. Chris held the guitar chair in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra from 2004-7. Currently on 80+ date tour with multi-platinum singer Russell Watson, the biggest selling UK classical artist. Tour runs throughout the whole of 2015. Chris is playing classical, steel-string acoustic and electric guitars, as well as electric bass and mandolin. Recent tours include an arena tour with Il Divo autumn 2014; playing the O2 in London and arenas all over the UK. Also in 2014 Chris toured the UK with trumpet virtuoso Alison Balsom, playing all over the UK, venues including the Royal Albert Hall. Chris toured the UK with Russell Watson spring 2014, venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Brighton Dome, Sage Gateshead, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and many other of the best venues in the UK. TV appearances include performing live on Children in Need, BBC Breakfast and the Paul O’Grady Show with Jacqui Dankworth, with whom he has also appeared on BBC radio many times. Others include Friday Night is Music Night with Gwyneth Herbert and The BBC Concert Orchestra. In august 2010 Chris was a featured guest on Solar Radio, Los Angeles California, talking about album Open Spaces and playing live in the studio. September 2012 Chris performed with Madeline Bell and the BBC Big Band at the BBC Radio 2 Proms in Hyde Park London to over 42000 people. As a studio musician Chris has recorded in many of the best-known studios in the UK including Maida Vale, Abbey Road, Metropolis, Pinewood Studios, Air, and abroad at studios including Dinamec studio, Geneva, and Solar Studio, Los Angeles. Chris has recorded for legendary producers such as Tony Platt (Led Zeppelin, ACDC, Bob Marley). Chris also leads his own band, and is signed to Sunlightsquare Records. New album ‘Invisible Landscape’ is recorded and will be released 2016. Previous albums Jupiter Island and Open Spaces have received critical acclaim including excellent reviews in Jazzwise, Musician, and four stars in Guitarist Magazine. The Chris Allard Band have performed at numerous respected venues in the UK and in Italy, France and Switzerland, including the International Guitar Festival, Ronnie Scott’s, Bonington Theatre, Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho, Maison Musique Torino, Italy, and have had press and radio-play as far afield as Portugal and Los Angeles California. See Chris Allard Band page for more information. Chris also works as a composer. Amongst other writing projects he recently wrote the music for Berlin Film Festival sponsored short film Spoilt Broth, directed by Toby Roberts, which has been screened in Washington DC, Sydney, Moscow, London, Venice and New York City, where it won best comedy award at the GIAA Film Festival. It also won the USA Short Film Channel Best Film award 2012, and appeared at the International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts in LA and various other international film festivals. Chris studied jazz and classical guitar at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, 2000-2004, receiving an honours degree in Guitar performance. He studied jazz at Malmo Conservatoire, Sweden, receiving a diploma. He also studied popular music at the Guitar Institute, London, and Thames Valley University, receiving a foundation diploma and a diploma in Higher Education respectively. Ovation guitar prize winner in 2000, Chris was also awarded a classical guitar by the Barbarolli Foundation 2002, and was finalist in the Gibson Guitar Competition at Montreux Jazz Festival 2004, also receiving a guitar. In addition to a busy schedule of performing, writing and recording, Chris is on the faculty at the Colchester Institute as guitar tutor, teaching one-to-one guitar lessons on their Popular Music Degree, and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he has taught small-group coaching sessions, and has also judged their postgraduate and undergraduate guitar final recitals in 2009, 2012 and 2014. See teaching page for further information.


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