A graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Whitworth University, Chris Teal is the co-Director of the Institute for Creative Music (IfCM) and a recent transplant to Denton, TX. Chris has performed as a member of the IfCM Collective, Mingus Dynasty Quartet, Dave Rivello Ensemble, the Mighty High and Dry, Nick Finzer Quintet, Alexa Tarantino Quartet, John Nyerges Trio, Jake Hertzog Trio, and Matt Smith Group. Chris released his first self-titled album as the Chris Teal Trio, “Analog Dreams”, in 2019; four albums with the band Quintopus on ears&eyes Records (Voyage to Ornoc, April Showers, and Prehistoric Beach, and The Adjacent Possible); and four albums with the IfCM Collective on Outside in Music Records (“Volume 1”, “A Tribute to Prince,” “A Tribute to Björk,” and “Volume 4: A Tribute to St. Vincent”).
In addition to his active career as a performer, Teal strives to build new opportunities for students to experience jazz and creative music by teaching improvisation, aural learning, and student leadership through the Institute for Creative Music. The IfCM also runs “Creative Jazz Fundamentals,” an on-line school for learning jazz. In collaboration with the University of Arkansas Community Music School, Chris and the IfCM were awarded grant funding for their “Youth Education Initiative” for 2021-22. Chris is the founder and director of the Fayetteville Jazz Festival and has directed the IfCM summer jazz camps annually since 2013.
Along with other Teaching Artists from the Institute for Creative Music, Teal has presented workshops and performances at schools throughout the United States, and has presented workshops at the 2017 NYU Impact Conference and 2015 TEDxFlourCity conference. Raised in Spokane, WA, Chris teaches drum set, piano, guitar, and improvisation lessons in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area.