Born in New Orleans, Chris moved from New York to Nashville in 1989. He toured as Music Director and pianist for Barbara Mandrell. Upon her retirement in 1997 he became pianist for the band Alabama, touring and recording with them from 1997-2004. He toured as Music Director and pianist for Sony Music Masterworks Recording Artist & Hall of Fame Songwriter JD Souther.
When not touring with his own band, Chris performs and records as the keyboardist with various artists, including The Jeff Coffin Mu’tet, and The Peter Mayer Group. He has performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, and recorded the soundtrack for a documentary film scored by Bela Fleck.
At the age of 18, Walters was a finalist in the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra’s Gershwin competition. Chris attended the Jazz Studies Program at Webster University in St. Louis, and was listed by them as a notable alumnus in a recent Downbeat magazine article.
His debut album, “Strange Fruit,” was featured on National Public Radio’s Jazz South program, and his 2003 release, “Cool Blue Swing,” garnered praise for 11 tracks of original music.
Chris followed that with “Yay! Everybody, Yay!” (2012), “Boneyard Thieves” (2018), and "Whisper & Howl" (2019), recordings that include his original compositions as well as works by Alberto Ginastera and Cole Porter, and feature orchestral arrangements around his small band performances.
He is also an award-winning animator. Two of his animated shorts won first place at the 2005 Key West IndieFest Film Festival.
Chris Walters will be at Blue Bamboo Sunday, March 19, 2023 at 3 PM