Born in Venezuela, raised in Illinois, educated in Boston, and now residing in Nashville, composer and bassist Chris Mondak already has amassed vast experience in music.
Chris holds a B.M. (2020) from the renowned New England Conservatory, where he studied with bass luminaries Cecil McBee and Dave Holland. Prior to that, Chris trained with Larry Gray, and he was active in the Champaign Central HS music program, where he was a three-time Illinois all-state musician, receiving commendations from Essentially Ellington, Music for All, the Brubeck Institute, YoungArts, and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Chris has played with Wycliffe Gordon, Dave Douglas, Wayne Escoffery, Melanie Charles, Shelly Berg, Marvin Stamm, Jesus Molina, Jeff Hamilton, and Matt Savage. With an aggressive bass style reminiscent of Mingus, Chris has toured in the U.S., playing with the Jazz Band of America, jazz combos the Chris Mondak Quartet and West of Staley, and rock band Rev Gusto. Chris has played in Australia, Mexico and Panama, and toured twice in China. Chris has performed at venues such as Birdland, Bop Stop, Jazz at Lincoln Center-Shanghai, Carnegie Hall, Rudy's, and Breezy's.
Chris has written tracks for his CD Eternal Youth, and those of his jazz combos the Nextgen Jazz Quartet and West of Staley, and rock band NxT. In 2019, Chris played with the Nextgen Jazz Quartet at the Hengqin Cup Jazz Competition in Zhuhai, China, and Chris's composition "Always Smiling" received 1st place as the festival's top original composition.