Chris Tyle Biography

Born in 1955 in Vancouver, Washington (across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon), Chris Tyle is a second-generation jazz musician, playing cornet, clarinet, saxophone and drums. Tyle's knowledge of early jazz music and its styles translates into a unique ability to eerily capture the sounds of the pioneers of jazz.

Tyle's father, Axel, hailed from Copenhagen, Denmark, moving to Portland, Oregon as a child. As a student he studied cornet and drums and played with early jazz groups on the West Coast. He was a founding member of the Castle Jazz Band, and in 1943, while stationed in Boston, played with jazz greats Sidney Bechet, Bunk Johnson and Pops Foster.

As a teenager, Chris Tyle became interested in early jazz music, studying the music of early jazz greats from his father's extensive record collection. By 21 he was playing cornet professionally with his father in a group led by trumpeter and bassist Don Kinch. (At right, Chris and Axel Tyle performing with Don Kinch's Conductors Ragtime Band at the St. Louis Ragtime Festival, 1978.)

Turk Murphy Jazz Band, San Francisco, 1979. Left to right: Bob Helm, clarinet; Tyle, cornet; Turk Murphy, trombone.

In 1979 Tyle performed and recorded with the Turk Murphy Jazz Band of San Francisco. He then returned to Portland and formed a highly-successful swing group, Wholly Cats, which featured vocalist Rebecca Kilgore and drummer Hal Smith. During the band's six-year existence they were frequently joined by visiting jazz artists such as Bill Berry, Dave McKenna, Dave Frishberg, Scott Hamilton and Butch Thompson.

Wholly Cats, 1982. Left to right, Brad Ulrich, reeds; Tyle, cornet; Hal Smith, drums; Dan Presley, bass; Rebecca Kilgore, guitar and vocals.

In 1989 Tyle moved to New Orleans, where he performed and recorded with:

Tyle worked with many New Orleans jazz artists including jazz pioneers Willie and Percy Humphrey, Danny Barker and Pud Brown.

Danny Barker's Jazz Hounds, Palm Court Jazz Cafe, 1991. Danny Barker, banjo; Tyle, cornet. Tyle played with Barker's Jazz Hounds (which included jazz great Albert "Pud" Brown on reeds), for two years at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe.

Two shots from the French Quarter fest: Left, Tyle performs on cornet with Jacques Gauthe; right, on drums, with John Gill, banjo and Tom Saunders, bass sax. Tyle performed at the French Quarter fest every year from 1989 to 2002.

In October 1992, Tyle formed the Silver Leaf Jazz Band, which performed six nights-a-week at the Can-Can Jazz Cafe in the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street. During that stint the band recorded seven compact discs for Good Time Jazz, Stomp-Off and Jazzology. (see "discography" for more information).

Tyle has many recordings to his credit. His first was with the Turk Murphy Jazz Band, and since that time he has recorded over 50 CDs on the Stomp-Off, Jazzology, G.H.B and Good Time Jazz labels as a member of the Down Home Jazz Band, the Frisco Syncopators, Ted des Plantes Louisiana Swingers, Tommy Sancton's Crescent City Serenaders, Jacques Gauthe's Creole Rice Jazz Band, John Gill's Dixieland Serenaders, Hal Smith's Rhythmakers, the Minstrels of Annie Street, Duke Heitger's Swing Band, Duke Heitger's Steamboat Stompers, Tim Laughlin Jazz Band, Barry Martyn's Arrowhead Jazz Band, Andrew's Hall Society Jazz Band, Andrew Hall's Society Brass Band, Gambit Jazzmen (in England), Banu Gibson's New Orleans Hot Jazz, and as leader of the Silver Leaf Jazz Band and New Orleans Rover Boys.

Since his professional debut in 1976, Tyle has performed at many jazz festivals, including...

North American Festivals

  • New Orleans Jazz and Heritage
  • French Quarter Festival, New Orleans
  • Satchmo Summerfest, New Orleans
  • St. Louis Ragtime Festival, Missouri
  • Sacramento Dixieland Jazz Jubilee, California
  • San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival, California
  • Atlanta Jazz Party, Georgia
  • Dixieland Monterey, California
  • Mardi Gras Jazz Festival, Fresno, California
  • Oregon Dixieland Jubilee, Seaside
  • Medford Jazz Jubilee, Oregon
  • Portland Dixieland Festival, Oregon
  • Sparks, Nevada
  • Memphis Jazz Festival, Tennessee
  • North Carolina Jazz Festival, Wilmington
  • Friday Harbor, Washington
  • Terrivic Jazz Party, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival, Sedalia, Missouri
  • Blind Boone Ragtime Festival, Columbia, Missouri

European Festivals

  • Bude Jazz Festival, England
  • Brecon, Wales
  • Oslo Jazz Festival, Norway
  • Sildajazz, Haugesund, Norway
  • Jazz in Marciac, France
  • Breda, Netherlands
  • New Orleans Jazz, Ascona, Switzerland
  • Riverboat Jazz Festival, Silkeborg, Denmark
  • Burg Jazz Festival, Landstuhl, Germany

Tyle has also performed as a guest artist with bands in England, Denmark, Japan, Brazil, Switzerland, France, Norway and Germany.

In December, 2002, Tyle returned to his home in Portland, Oregon. He continues to work nationally and internationally with various traditional jazz groups.

For information, contact Chris Tyle via email, or by phone at 503-786-8796 or cell 503-380-5507.



Silver Leaf Jazz Band

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