biography

biography
Chris Conway is difficult to sum up in a few paragraphs as he is active in so many genres of music singer-songwriter, new age, jazz, Celtic, world music, and electronic. This genre hopping makes him a moving target as an artist and keeps him below many people's radar, but there is a growing crowd of those in the know who enjoy the relentless creative flow of his music.

He has worked with a very diverse set of top musicians - he's played with members of Jethro Tull and Fairport Convention and toured with Peter Tork (Monkees). He's also played with composer Gavin Bryars, tabla man Talvin Singh, violin virtuoso Dr L Subramanium, and UK folk singer Martin Carthy. Brazilian jazz diva Ithamara Koorax and UK folk artist Vikki Clayton and Irish singer Bridget McMahon have all recorded his songs.

Chris Conway is a true multi-instrumental wizard - playing piano, keyboards, 9string acoustic & electric guitars, low, tin & twin whistles, live electronics, kalimba, theremin, zither, and vocals.

Chris Conway has a prolific recorded output, releasing over 100 CDs under his own name or with his bands. His music has been heard on UK National TV, Radio, and film. He has sold over 75,000 CDs worldwide.

Current activity includes

- singer-songwriter concerts or in duo with Dan Britton.
- Celtic band Govannen.
- Indo-jazz band Re-Orient (a.k.a. Jazz Orient).
- electronic ambient music duo Memory Wire.
- new age recordings and production for the Paradise Music label.
- solo jazz piano & vocals, or in duos/trios.
- solo improvised sets on piano or theremin & electronics.



Genre by Genre

Singer-songwriter
His song concerts are hugely entertaining shows - moving and humourous songs are drawn from his 10 songs albums releases,
plus irresistable laid back chat between songs. His songs sets are backed by guitar, piano, and kalimba, with features for his Irish flutes and sometimes even theremin, and sometimes by a band.

Jazz
Chris Conway is an amazing jazz pianist, vocalist, composer and songwriter and is at home in modern jazz, standards, ballads, bossas, and blues, recording many albums in various groupings.

World Music Fusion
Blending music influences from India, the Balkans, Celtic music and beyond, Chris has released 10 albums of with world fusion groups The Rain Garden, Jazz Orient/Re-Orient and worked with the likes of Talvin Singh, and Dr L Subramanium.

Ambient & New Age
Chris Conway has recorded many top selling ambient and new age albums and has gained a reputation as a producer for other artists in the genre and has sold over 40,000 new age and ambient albums.

Celtic Music
At the heart of the Govannen band, and in his own song sets, Chris's magical Irish tin and low whistles have become a trademark, as is his ability to come up with fresh new Celtic music.

Electronic

With his theremin and a raft of electronics Chris Conway weaves amazing electronic soundscapes. He has recorded many albums of improvised electronic music and runs a monthly Quadelectronic music event.

Filk

Filk is science-fiction folk music. Chris has travelled the world as Guest Of Honour at 5 filk conventions in the USA, Canada and the UK, and has won 3 Sam Awards (UK filk oscars).


Chris Conway has worked with ....
Pop/rock - Peter Tork (Monkees) , Martin Barre (Jethro Tull) , Maartin Allcock (ex-Fairport Convention, Jethro Tull), Clive Bunker (ex-Jethro Tull), and more....

Folk/singer-songwriter -
Vikki Clayton, Pete Morton, Sally Barker, James Lee Stanley, Cathy Lesurf (ex-Albion Band), Martin Carthy, Jackie Leven, and more....

Jazz/world music -Talvin Singh, Dr L. Subramanium, Ithamara Koorax, Sakari Kukko (Piirpauke), Thiago de Mello, Ramesh Mishra, Martin Speake, Derek Bailey, Partho Sarathi Mukherjee, Baluji Shrivastav, Andy Sheppard, Tommy Emmanuel, Guy Barker, and more....

New Age/Ambient - Llewellyn & Juliana, Kevin Kendle, Clookai, France Ellul, Marie Bruce, and more....

Electronic/Ambient - Gavin Bryars, Lydia Kavina, Barbara Buchholz, and more....


Chris Conway has opened for ...
Bob Geldof, Richie Havens, Roy Wood, Joan Baez, Country Joe McDonald, Jefferson Starship, Arthur Brown, Dean Friedman, and Irish star Frances Black amongst others.


So check out Chris Conway's music and hear some extraordinary creativity and some beautiful songs.

Time Out Magazine of London said of him, "Rootsy multi-instrumentalist Conway is a master of witty, touching acoustic songs. He purveys a lilting and melodic music of depth and emotion" 

For more detailed biographies in a particular genre look at these pages...
singer-songwriter
jazz - world fusion
ambient - new age
celtic
electronic- improvised
filk

for printable pdf files of biography, factsheet and print sized 300dpi photos
see the press room
also see reviews

 



 


So how did Chris Conway Get To Here?

Early Years

Hailing from Michigan USA, Chris Conway moved to the UK as a child, taught himself the piano and formed bands at school, Chimaera's Spectre, a Santana influenced band, Unity - a free improvisation trio, and jazz rock band, Gloom. At university he pursued his interest in free improvised solo piano performances and formed short lived groups, a freeform rock group Bleak House, free improvisation trio Prata, and Celtic band, Universal Spirit, and joined rock band Dingoes Away. He turned professional in 1989.

Jazz
Chris Conway is self taught on the piano, his early influences being Santana's Tom Coster and Chick Corea. At university he became interested in free improvisation, influenced by Howard Riley & Keith Tippett before becoming attracted to the atmospheric ECM label pianists Steve Kuhn, Richie Beirach, Rainer Bruninhghaus, John Taylor and Bobo Stenson. An interest in minimalism came into his music from the influence of Terry Riley.
In 1992 he formed a jazz trio Happy Landings which expanded to the Chris Conway Quartet. The music from this period was released on 2 Happy Landings Cds and compiled on the album Breathtaking. He then began to sing more and write jazz songs, releasing a live album of jazz songs and a bossa album Chocolate Bossa with Brazilian jazz diva Ithamara Koorax recording one of his songs. In 2010 he released Glisten - an album of improvised solo piano music. In 2012 he released another piano based album Retracing My Steps. In 2014 he released an album of improvisations with 15 female vocalists called Through Mirrors We Met.
He released an album of songs including some original ones Time Will Tell with jazz singer Jodi Krangle, and an album of solo piano improvisations Midnight Window Blue

World Music Fusion
After studying the sitar in 1985, he became interested in world music and with sitarist Carl Peberdy formed The Rain Garden which recorded six albums and still occasionally reunites. He toured with Pushkala Gopal and Unnikrishnan Indian dance troupe, working with violinist Dr L Subramanium which directly led to him joining the Indo-jazz group Jazz Orient (also known as Re-Orient) with sitarist Baluji Shrivastav and singer Linda Shanivitch, touring and recording 5 albums, one, "Re-Orient" with guests Guy Barker and Andy Sheppard. 2012 Re-Orient released a new album Undiscovered Time on the ARC label.

Singer-Songwriter
Chris Conway became involved in the acoustic scene in Leicester. In 1993, he joined 2 other singer-songwriters Dave Everitt and Dan Britton to form The Storm Thieves who released 3 albums. He later formed The Talking Fish, and went on to record 10 albums and 1 DVD of his songs, with many guests such as ex Jethro Tull drummer Clive Bunker and Poozies' Sally Barker. He toured Germany six times, recorded and toured in duo with Dan Britton, and toured with ex-Monkees Peter Tork. In 1996 he joined Fairport Convention associate Vikki Clayton's band, playing at Cropredy Festival. She recorded 2 of his songs and he appears on several of her albums. in 2011 he released a new songs album Time Traveller.In 2013 he released his 10th studio songs album Deep Space Love. In 2015 he released a new songs album Out Of The Blue
.

New Age
After working on the Ayurveda CD for the New World label with new age artist Llewellyn in 2003, he put his multi-instrumental skills and cross-genre experiences into recording a variety of new age and ambient albums on the Paradise Music label, where he went on to be a producer for other artists. He has recorded solo piano, ethnic percussion, meditation, healing, chill-out, Celtic, and world music styled ambient albums, all produced and almost all composed by himself. In 2010 his production of Govannen's Celtic Fire won a COVR Award at the International New Age Trade Show in Denver, USA. He
released the Celtic Reiki album with Llewellyn in 2008, following that with his own Celtic Dreamer in 2011, Buddha Dreamer in 2013 and Piano Dreamer in 2014, Celtic Gold, Flute Dreamer and with sitar player Neil Donoghue, Ayurveda Gold.

Celtic Music
At university Chris Conway formed a Celtic band Universal Spirit which was influenced by Breton harper Alan Stivell and Irish band the Moving Hearts. Celtic music cropped up on his songs and world music albums over the years but in 2004 he joined Celtic band Govannen with whom he recorded and produced 5 albums, 3 for Paradise Music and plays extensively, sometimes expanding to a celidh band with ex-Albion band singer Cathy Lesurf as dance caller.
He produced albums by Celtic harper France Ellul and Irish singer Bridget McMahon, playing most of the music himself, Govannen released a new studio album Celtic Earth in 2012 which won a COVR Award, and in 2013 they released Celtic Christmas.

Electronic and Ambient
After taking up the theremin in 2002, his interest in electronic music grew, which blended with his love of improvisation to form groups The Planet Scanners and Continuum, recording several albums. He also played in other formations such as The Scanner Game, Escape Route, Bridge and currently the ambient duo Memory Wire with Jim Tetlow with whom he has released 6 albums inclusing the latest Aura. He organises the monthly Quadelectronic electronic improvisation events in Leicester and has attended 2 Hands Off UK Theremin Symposiums and played at the Ether Festival at the Royal Festival Hall, London and has also given theremin workshops in the UK and USA. In 2011 he released an album of solo theremin & effects music called Adagios Electric
. He formed a quartet Audible Light and released 3 albums with them in 2014/15.

Filk (Science Fiction Folk Music)
Having written a few space based songs influenced by Paul Kantner and Country Joe McDonald Chris Conway became aware of the filk genre through the internet. He played his first UK filk convention in 2000 and has gone to be guest of honour at filk conventions in the UK, San Francisco, Toronto, and Columbus. He has won 4 Sam awards (UK filk Oscars) and been nominated for a Pegasus Award (world filk award) 6 times. He recorded 2 filk based albums - Live! (recorded at 2 filk conventions), and Alien Salad Abduction. In 2011 his Time Traveller album featured several filkish songs. He was International Guest in 2012 at DFDF Filk Convention in Germany and released the filk album Deep Space Love.

 




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