Chris Lege was born in San Francisco in 1955 while his father was in the Army and relocated to Colorado shortly thereafter. His father played Jazz and his mother played Classical music, so it was only natural that he should take up a musical path of his own. After experimenting with several instruments, Chris made his final choice of the trombone by age 11. When he was 14, he began taking private lessons from world-renowned trumpet player Joy Caylor who proved to be one of his most influential mentors. Through this, Chris became the lead trombone soloist with the top band at the time called “Brass Beat for the Seventies”. He continued with his passion at Metro State College in Denver. There, he joined the big band, which opened for many top acts at various jazz festivals throughout the midwest.
In 1974, after 2 years of college Chris became a full time performer. He experimented with many bands and covered every genre of music imaginable in a time where bands such as Tower of Power, Chicago and Blood Sweat and Tears reigned supreme. This is where he discovered the rich and intoxicating sound of Salsa music. Chris began his Salsa career in 1980 with a local band in the Denver, Colorado area that later became the Conjuto Colores band. In 1983 the band played at the Western Jazz Festival, which began in China and ended in the Philippines. The tour was very successful and after returning, Chris began to record a lot of his own music with the goal of someday releasing a CD. During this time, he also recorded many LP’s for international and local artists as well as jingles for television and radio.
Ready for a change, Chris moved to Sausalito, California in 1989. There he began to make connections with many local bands as he searched for a studio and musicians to help create his first CD. He finally released his first album in 1993 titled “To The Bone” which covered all styles from R&B, Salsa, Big Band, Rock, Fusion and even a guest appearance from Chris’s Dad Peter Lege. The project was successful. In 1995 Chris began rehearsing with a new band called Orquesta Romance, which was a mix of the best Salsa talent in the bay area. The band later became Orquesta Avance and within a year ended up being the #1 salsa band in the bay area, which is a title that it still holds today. “Avance” released its debut album titled “Adelante” in 1996, which won a Bammie for best world beat album of the year. From there, Avance did a few gigs in Los Angeles including the NAMM Show in Anaheim for the Latin Percussion Group.
At the same time, Chris recorded a tribute to John Elway, which was released in 1997 entitled “The Comeback Kid”. In 1998, Avance released its second album “West Coast Latin Groove” that proved to be another successful project. After their second release, the band took 2 years off to record their 3rd album and Chris to start his 2nd project. He was also back to playing big band with the Stardust Orchestra located in Sausalito. Avance’s third album “Sigiumos” was released in 2000 with special guest Carlos Santana and was nominated best salsa album in the California Music Awards. Recently, Chris performed at SBC Park with Avance for the Juan Marichal statue dedication and is still currently playing with Avance, which is working on a fourth album. Chris is planning the release of his 2nd independent album for early 2006.