Pianist, arranger, author, and educator, Christopher Azzara has made important contributions to advancing the understanding of creativity and improvisation music learning. An innovator in the area of music teaching and learning, Dr. Azzara is Professor of Music Education and Affiliate Faculty of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music. He is author of numerous articles, arrangements, and books, including Developing Musicianship Through Improvisation and Jump Right In: The Instrumental Series (GIA). Dr. Azzara's work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Research in Music Education, Early Childhood Connections, Music Educators Journal, and The New Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning (MENC/Oxford).
After receiving his Bachelor of Music from George Mason University, he taught instrumental music in the Fairfax County Public Schools and performed as a pianist in the Washington, DC area. He later received his Master of Music and Ph.D. in Music Education from the Eastman School of Music. Prior to joining the Eastman faculty, Dr. Azzara was Associate Professor of Music Education at The Hartt School of Music, Dance, and Theatre of the University of Hartford. His research and publications focus on meaningful relationships among listening, creating, improvising, reading, composing, and analyzing music in vocal and instrumental settings.
He performs as a soloist and in various ensembles, including the Chris Azzara Quartet, and has played on and produced studio and educational recordings. An active teacher and clinician, he has presented and performed throughout the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Lithuania, Poland, and Japan.