Chris Leighton's Biography

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Chris's professional drumming career began 1970. He has performed live, recorded as a studio musician, record producer, and percussion instructor in the local, regional, national, and international music scenes. He has recorded over 1200 commercials, 60 albums/CDs, and numerous movie soundtracks since 1970.
chris embossed

  He was awarded "BEST DRUMS" by The Washington Blues Society's B.B. Awards in 1991, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007.

Chris's live performances include well known musicians:
Adrian Legg
Alice Stuart
Ben E. King
Bill Frisell
Bo Diddley
Chuck Berry

Danny O'Keefe
Dee Daniels
Diane Schuur
Doug Kershaw

Eddie Harris
Ferlin Husky
Floyd Standifer
Future Man [The Flecktones]
Hani Nassar
Herb Ellis
Jimmy Dean
Joe Craven
Lightnin' Hopkins
Linda Tillery
Long John Baldry
Martha Davis
Pete Barbutti
Randy Bachman
Rusted Root
Tex Williams
The Beach Boys
The Drifters
Thelma Houston
Tim & Mollie O'Brien
 • Shum Ticky - Laura Love
(1998, Mercury Records 314 558 866-2)
• I Ain't the Fool - Rod Cook & Toast
(1998, Howlin' Squirrel Records HS0100)
• Washboard Highway - Junkyard Jane (1998)
• Octoroon - Laura Love
(1997, Mercury Records 314 534 649-2)
• Bad Albert's Live - Cooke & Green (1996)
• It's Only A Matter Of Time - Terry D Lauber (1996)
• Double Cookin' - Double Cookin' [Curley Cooke & Rod Cook]
(1995, Blue Sub Records)
• It's Only Right - The Jimmy Frank Band
(1995, Love Dog Records LDR11949-2)
• Broken Dreams - Jennifer Lind
(1994, The Music Source Inc.)
• Seattle Rhythm & Blues, Vol. I - various artists
(1993, Axiom Records AXCD101)

• A Very Special Christmas 2 - with Ann & Nancy Wilson (of Heart)
(1992, A&M Records 314540032)
• KEZX Album Project - various artists
(1986 Park Broadcasting Inc.)
• Pilot of My Destiny - Diane Schuur
(1982, Music is Medicine MIM9057)
• Union - Union
(1981, Portrait Records RRR37368)
• Keepin' the Summer Alive - The Beach Boys
(1980, Caribou Records CR-17534)
• Everything Is Grey - Ironhorse
(1980, Scotti Bros. Records SB-7108)
• Ironhorse - Ironhorse
(1979, Scotti Bros. Records SB-7102)
• Dance Inside Your Head - Jim Valley
( 1979, First American Records FA-7710)
• Brownsmith - Brownsmith
(1975, Capitol Records CR-17534)

Record Producer
* I Ain’t the Fool - Rod Cook & Toast (1998; co-producer)
* Victims of Cool - Nick Vigarino (1996)
* Seattle Rhythm & Blues, Vol. I - various artists
(1993, Axiom Records AXCD101)
* Ain't Gonna Cry No More - Kathy Hart and the Bluestars (1993)
* Tonight I Want It All - Kathy Hart and the Bluestars
(1991, Biograph Records BCD-119DDD)
* Seattle Women in R&B - various artists (1991)
Commericals & Theme Music:
Alaska Airlines
Boyd's Coffee
Continental Airlines
Horizon Air
KGO Radio
KJR Radio
KMPS Radio
Northwest Ford
Puyallup Fair
Rainier Brewery
Sea Galley
Taco Time
Thai Airlines
The Bon Marche
Festivals, Special Events, & Clubs:
***1990 South By Southwest Music Conference (Austin, TX)
***1993 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (Davos, Switzerland)
***1997 Gavin A3 Conference (Boulder, CO)
***1998 KMTT Winter Warmth Benefit Concert, Seattle (featuring Laura Love Band, Sonia Dada, Susan Tedeschi)
***Ann Arbor (MI) Folk Festival
***Ben & Jerry's Newport Folk Festival
***Bite of Seattle
***Bottom Line, New York City
***Bumbershoot, Seattle
***Calgary (AL) Folk Festival
***California World Music Festival
***Canmore (AL) Heritage Festival
***Chico (CA) World Music Fest
***Club Nights at the Pier, Seattle
***Dancin' In The District, Nashville
***Detroit Arts Festival
***Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Hillsdale (NY)
***Great American Music Hall, San Francisco
***High Sierra Music Festival (CA)
***Juan de Fuca Festival (WA)
***Lotus Festival, Bloomington (IN)
***MacEwan Hall Ballroom, Calgary
***MerleFest (NC)
***Nassau (NY) Comm. Coll. Folk Fest.
***New Orleans House of Blues
***New Year’s Eve 2001 & 2002 at the Oriental Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
***Northern Rockies Folk Festival (ID)
***Northwest Folklife Festival, Seattle
***Old Vienna Kaffeehaus, Westboro (MA)
***Philadelphia Folk Festival
***Port Townsend (WA) Hot Jazz Fest.
***Puyallup (WA) Fair
***Silverton (CO) Folk Music Festival
***Strawberry Music Festival, Yosemite (CA)
***Swinomish (WA) Blues Festival
***Taste of Tacoma
***Teatro Zinzanni, Seattle
***Telluride (CO) Bluegrass Festival
***The Ark, Ann Arbor (MI)
***The Backstage, Seattle
***The Birchmere, Alexandria (VA)
***The Orpheum, Omaha (NE)
***The Tractor, Seattle
***Town Crier, Pawling (NY)
***Town Hall, New York City
***Tucson (AZ) Folk Festival
***Vancouver (BC) Folk Festival
***Wetlands, New York City
***Willamette Valley (OR) Folk Festival
***Winthrop (WA) Blues Festival
***Women in Emotion Fest. (Germany)
***World One Festival, Monterey (CA)
Other Performances:
• 1999 European tour with Bill Frisell & The Willies
• Washington Blues Society's Annual Drummers Showcase (1998, 1999)
• 1994 Seattle Seahawks Band
• 1979 international tour as member of Ironhorse (concurrent with #1 single in Italy)
• 1979 East Coast tour with Ironhorse and the Beach Boys
• 1975 Seattle Mariners Band
• Appearances on KING 5 television programs "Seattle Today" and "Almost Live"
• Percussion accompanist for the Bill Evans Dance Company and University of Washington ballet classes (1983)
• D-movie soundtracks for The Ghosting (1991), Crossing the Rubicon (1989), Movie in Your Face (1987), and Doubles (1973)
• Unpredictable appearances on Seattle-area Public Access Cable Channel 29
• Joined the Laura Love Band in 1995 as percussionist/drummer; currently performing throughout North America and abroad at festivals and nightclubs. Major label debut, Octoroon, was released on Mercury Records in May 1997, followed by Shum Ticky in September 1998. Completed a month-long U.S. tour as opening act for Rusted Root in the fall of 1997. Performances on nationally broadcast public TV series "Sessions at West 54th" and public radio shows "E Town" and "Mountain Stage."
• Performing in the Puget Sound area with Rod Cook & Toast (1999 nominee for the Washington Blues Society's "Best New Band" and "Best NW Recording" awards), Nick Vigarino, Henry Cooper, Murl Allen Sanders, Little Bill Engelhart, and various corporate event bands.
Percussion Instructor
• 2000 – present: percussion instructor with Blues in the Schools, a nonprofit organization that teaches blues music in schools and institutional settings
• Adjunct Professor of Music at Shoreline Community College, WA in 2008 and 2009

• Drum Clinics/Classes:
*Bellevue Community College *Edmonds School District
*Edmonds Community College *Shoreline School District
*Seattle School District *The Drum Exchange
• Private lessons at the Drum Key (music store) and at personal residence
• Drum workshops with Future Man, Hani Nassar, and Australian percussion group Utungun.
• Workshops at various festivals throughout North America
Recent Activities
• Played drums with Wanda Jackson at the Centrum in Port Townsend, WA. 2008
• Played drums with Francine Reed at the Teatro Zinnzanni in Seattle, WA. 2008
• Torino, Italy CD release party in 2009 with rock group.
• Host weekly jazz jams in Seattle area in 2009 with Scotty Harris and Lissa Ramaglia.
• Sunbanks Music Festival in WA on Sept. 13th, 14th & 15th 2009 with Cee Cee James, Junk Yard Jane, & Patti Allen-Kathi Mc Donald allstar band.
• Millpond Music Festval with Laura Love at Millpond California Sept. 20th, 21st 2009