Musician and Percussionist, Chris Paquette was born May 28th in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, 1983. Despite many stories and toddler photos of Chris holding a blur of toy drum mallets, the alto sax was his first instrument starting in the fifth grade and continuing through college. It was not until his sophomore year of high school that he bought his first pair of congas and immediately was a part of numerous bands and projects outside of school. It was the T.C.C. (Twin Cities Community) Gospel choir directed by Robert Robinson that truly started Chris’s playing as a professional percussionist.
For the next two years, Chris remained self taught, busy and performing in and around Minneapolis and St Paul. In his senior year of high school he met his teacher Marcos “Chico” Perez and began studying traditional style playing at the Culture Center of MN. Chris Paquette studied under Chico for approximately two years.
After high school starting in 2001, Chris attended Columbia College in Chicago for two and a half years for music. He was hired to play behind Columbia’s choirs and hosted a monthly drum circle for three years through the college.
PERFORMED WITH----Unlimited and living in Chicago, Chris Paquette has been a part of countless projects and backed a wide variety of artists such as HipHopChicago, Melanie Turner, DJ Twilight Tone, Mathew Santos, The Manhattan Project, Zzaje, Lee England Jr., The BSTC (Back Stone Theatre Collective), The Chicago Afro Beat Project, Verzatile, Vaughn Anthony Stephan’s, Nicole Garza, Jaya, Soul People, Willie Pickens, Aviva Jaye, Gabe Wallace, Aryk Crowder, Obi Soulstar, Natalie Oliveri, Redwell, Byrd Davis, Vo Era, Kafeli Bandele, Yaw, Khari Lemuel, Tiaybe, The Primeridian, KJ Rose, Koku Gonza, Renee Dion, Russoul, Animate Objects, Frankie Donaldson, Gordon Chambers, Dizu Plaajtes (Curator of traditional African music at Cape Town University), Music Noire, Lauren Frost, Phillip Morris, Que Billah, Cole Degenova, Frank Catalano, Alfonso Hunter, Omar, Dwele, Glenn Lewis, Eric Roberson, Al B Sure, Christopher Williams, John B, Estelle, Brownstone, Roy Ayers, Chico DeBarge, El Debarge, George Clinton and the list goes on.
OPENED FOR----Chris has been in the opening act for artists such as Chrisette Michelle, Yazarah, JDavey, Eric Roberson, Res, El DeBarge, Anthony David, Dilated Peoples, Kindred Family Soul, Talib Kweli and Anthony Hamilton.
RECORDED ON----Among many projects that Chris has recorded for, he appears on albums such as trumpeter, Kafeli’s “Acid Reign”, singer songwriter Aaron Williams on his album “Everwinding Road”, Matt Santos' album "this burning ship of fools", Nicole Garza's album "Reinvented", Julie Dexters recent "New Again" album, Obi Soulstar, Animate Objects, and the BSTC in their most recent albums. Chris's frequent work with jazz sax man Frank Catalano has led him to perform at the Blue Note in New York and is on his latest albums titled “BANG!” and "Live Only!" His most recent recording is on Koku Gonza's album "Radiozophrenic"
MUSIC VIDEOS----You can see Chris in Kafeli's single "Stone Crazy" and the recent release of the Koku Gonza single "L.O.V.E." music video.
On a average week, Chris walks through many different worlds in the Chicago music scene and each week is dramatically different. Once a week he plays with a ten piece funk, soul group, The Midnight Sun Band, accompanies Lincolnshire Dance Academy classes and is resident at three different clubs from Chinatown to the north side including the famous Greenmill Jazz Club. Paquette shows a chameleon versatility unmatched in the Chicago Arts scene but still manages to stick out. He's a musician's musician, as well as a crowd favorite who can get any party going. Currently besides working on other artists projects, Chris Paquette is working on not one, but two of his own albums. The first will be an instrumental album and the second featuring various artists, vocal and instrumental.