Biography

Chris has worked with many top artists and performed at major festivals and venues including the Royal Albert Hall, The Pyramids Cairo,  the Barbican, the O2 Arena LondonBeiteddine Arts Festival Lebanon, Bahrain Spring of Culture Festival, Friends of Jordan Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott’s, Nuremberg Festival, Hackney Empire, Emirates Palace Auditorium Abu Dhabi, Midem Festival Cannes, Maison Musique Torino Italy, The Queen Elizabeth Hall, Giverny Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Brighton Dome, Duoro Jazz Festival Portugal, The Royal Festival Hall.

He has worked with Jacqui Dankworth, Omar Kamal, Sheridan Smith, Charlie Wood, Tim Garland, John Helliwell (Supertramp), Gwyneth Herbert, Dave O’Higgins, Dame Cleo Laine, Sir John Dankworth, Steve Waterman, Carleen Anderson, Paul Booth, Claire Martin, Paul Roberts (The Stranglers), Jamie Cullum, Mike Walker, Dylan Howe, Quentin Collins, Steve Furst, Kate Dimbleby, Tom Richards, Madeline Bell, Gwilym Simcock, the BBC Big Band, Ken Peplowski, to name but a few.

 

His latest album Invisible Landscape was released in July 2016 on independent label Perdido Records, with a launch gig at Pizza Express Dean St in London. Chris’s fourth album as a bandleader, it received excellent reviews; praisedInvisible-Landscape for impeccable performances, and a distinctive melodic gift.

 

‘a non-cliched linear improviser of great originality and talent…an excellent recording of modern music full of variety, intensity and interest.’ Jazzviews

In an age of instant downloads and short attention spans, ‘Invisible Landscape’ is a brave album built on artistic integrity, framed by Allard’s inventive musical vision and realized by the band’s technical and improvisational excellence’ ★★★★ Get Ready to Rock

 

Previous albums Jupiter Island and Open Spaces received critical acclaim including reviews in Jazzwise, Musician, and four stars in Guitarist Magazine. The Chris Allard Band have performed at numerous respected venues in the UK and in Italy, France and Switzerland, including the International Guitar Festival, Ronnie Scott’s, Bonington Theatre, Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho, Maison Musique Torino, Italy, and have had press and radio-play as far afield as Portugal and Los Angeles California.

Amongst other current projects Chris performs around the world with Palestinian singer Omar Kamal, with recent performances at the Pyramids in Cairo with the incredible backdrop of the Pyramids and the Sphinx, at televised concerts with big band and the Lebanese Symphony Orchestra in the middle east; at Beiteddine Festival at the presidential palace in Lebanon, and to 6000+ live at the Roman Amphitheatre in Amman Jordan, amongst others. He also continues to play regularly with greats such as Charlie Wood; and has just recorded on his latest album – to be released in 2018. As well as performing in the Fugata Quintet, and the brand new contemporary tango group Almagro Ensemble led by John Turville.

Throughout July 2018 Chris toured with 30+ million-selling Il Divo, also featuring Michael Ball, on their Castles and Country tour – with fantastic venues including Edinburgh Castle. April 2018 Chris toured with Olivier award-winning actress/singer Sheridan Smith OBE, performing as featured soloist with big band and strings on a sell-out tour with venues including the Royal Albert Hall.

Throughout autumn of 2017 Chris toured with Collabro, with venues including the London Palladium. Previous recent tours include arena tours with Il Divo in 2016 and 2014; including the O2 Arena in London. Throughout 2015 Chris toured with multi-platinum singer Russell Watson, the biggest selling UK classical artist of all time, with more than 80 sell-out concerts. Chris was playing classical, steel-string acoustic and electric guitars, as well as electric bass and mandolin. Also in 2014 Chris toured with Brit Award winning trumpeter Alison Balsom, with venues including the Royal Albert Hall.

TV appearances include performing live on Children in Need, BBC Breakfast and the Paul O’Grady Show with Jacqui Dankworth, with whom he has also appeared on BBC radio many times. Others include Friday Night is Music Night with Gwyneth Herbert and The BBC Concert Orchestra. In august 2010 Chris was a featured guest on Solar Radio, Los Angeles California, talking about album Open Spaces and playing live in the studio. September 2012 Chris performed with Madeline Bell and the BBC Big Band at the BBC Proms in Hyde Park London to over 42000 people.

As a studio musician Chris has recorded in many of the best studios in the UK including Maida Vale, Abbey Road, Metropolis, Pinewood Studios, Air, The Strong Rooms, and abroad at studios including Dinemec Studios, Geneva, and Solar Studio, Los Angeles. Chris has recorded for legendary producers such as Tony Platt (Led Zeppelin, ACDC, Bob Marley).

Chris also works as a composer. He recently wrote and recorded a piece of original tango music for the film Crowhurst, released 2018, which received rave reviews: “A devastating portrait of a fractured mind in fugue” Empire. “Hallucinatory.. feverish” The Hollywood Reporter. “Glorious..A timely, tragic myth” Sight & Sound. “Tremendously Moving” ★★★★ The Guardian. Amongst other previous writing projects he wrote the music for Berlin Film Festival sponsored short film Spoilt Broth, directed by Toby Roberts, which has been screened in Washington DC, Sydney, Moscow, London, Venice and New York City, where it won best comedy award at the GIAA Film Festival. It also won the USA Short Film Channel Best Film award 2012, and appeared at the International Film Festival of Cinematic Arts in LA and various other international film festivals.   

Chris held the guitar chair in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra from 2004-7, touring extensively in the UK and abroad. Prestigious concerts included playing at the Houses of Parliament, Birmingham Symphony Hall, and three week-long residencies at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. He appeared on three NYJO albums.

Chris studied jazz and classical guitar at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, 2000-2004, receiving an honours degree in Guitar performance. He was appointed Jazz Guitar Professor at Guildhall in 2017.

He also studied jazz at Malmo Conservatoire, Sweden, receiving a diploma. He also studied popular music at the Guitar Institute, London, and Thames Valley University, receiving a foundation diploma and a diploma in Higher Education respectively.

Ovation guitar prize winner in 2000, Chris was also awarded a classical guitar by the Barbarolli Foundation 2002, and was finalist in the Gibson Guitar Competition at Montreux Jazz Festival 2004, also receiving a guitar.