Chris Bergson

Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments

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Chris Bergson is an internationally acclaimed, American-born guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Hailed as "the New York street poet with a blues soul” by MOJO Magazine and "one of the most inventive songwriters in modern blues music" by All Music Guide, Bergson is best known as the leader of the Chris Bergson Band, whose soulful blend of American roots music encompasses “blazing rock to funk to soul to Delta blues and all that's in between.” Bergson is also an accomplished sideman who has performed with luminaries across a wide range of genres including pop and rock (Norah Jones, Levon Helm), blues and soul (Hubert Sumlin, Bernard Purdie), and jazz (Annie Ross, Al Foster, and Matt Wilson.) The Chris Bergson Band’s 2007 album, Fall Changes, recorded at Levon Helm’s studio in Woodstock, New York, was named MOJO Magazine’s no. 1 blues album of the year in 2008. Bergson was inducted into the New York Blues Hall of Fame as a master blues artist in 2015.

Career Highlights
  • Private lessons with Jim Hall
  • Performances with Levon Helm, Hubert Sumlin, Bernard “Pretty” Purdie, Norah Jones, and Annie Ross, among others
  • Opened for B.B. King, Etta James, Mose Allison, Levon Helm, and John Hammond
  • Appointed a Jazz Ambassador of the U.S.A. by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the U.S. State Department, and toured eight countries in West Africa, giving concerts and clinics on the blues
  • Inducted into the New York Blues Fall of Fame as a master blues artist, February 2015
  • Chris Bergson Band’s Fall Changes album named MOJO Magazine’s no. 1 blues album of 2008
  • Five consecutive albums from the Chris Bergson Band named as one of the Top 10 Blues Albums of the Year by MOJO Magazine
  • School Name
    Manhattan School of Music
    State or Province
    New York
    Bachelor of Music (B.M.)
    Field of Study
    Jazz Performance
    Date Degree Received
In Their Own Words

"My goal as a teacher is to help students find their own voice while supplying them with the tools they’ll need to always serve the music."

"I love digging into different tunes along with exploring solos and styles of master blues and jazz guitarists. One of the most exciting things for me as a teacher is when a student takes a concept or an idea I’ve shown them and integrates it into their playing and creates something new."

"I’m able to help students develop the versatility they’ll need over the course of their careers, drawing from my own varied experience over the past 25+ years as a New York City–based musician who gigs and tours all over the world, playing a lot of different styles. In addition to being a bandleader, I also have a lot of experience as a sideman and can help students develop really useful, employable skills."