Chris Beckers · Biography
Chris Beckers was born in Laren, a small village near Hilversum, Netherlands and grew up in Abcoude, at the outskirts of Amsterdam. He attended primary school until his family moved to Germany in 1964. When he heard and saw English beat groups on tv during the mid-sixties, Chris got infected by rock music. His enthusiasm for this style of music was not necessarily shared by his parents. Chris’ elder brother Ralph had just started an education as classical singer and they did not see very much future in a career as rock musician. Chris did not care too much about their opinion and started learning to play the guitar, formed his first bands with other young volunteers and tried to bring ‘progressive music’ into schoolhalls, university-clubs and bars around the industrial part of Germany, the ‘Ruhrgebiet’.
After he left school Chris decided to live his life in the world of music. In 1975 Chris, (meanwhile married and young father of a little daughter) moved to the north of Germany where he joined a blues band named Backwater Bluesband. The band successfully played the famous music clubs in Germany and the Netherlands during the following years but broke up when Beckers’ got interested in jazz rock and fusion. Chris started writing music and released his first album as a solo artist in 1980 (‘Blue Motions’), due to the very low budged recorded at a German film studio that was specialized in adult movies. Chris went on the road with a new band including Essiet Okon Essiet (bass), Henk Zomer (drums) and Peter Guidi (alto sax/flute). This collaboration led to his second album, ‘Splash’, in 1981.
Next, with Gerry Brown on drums and Dick Morrissey on saxophone, Chris produced ‘Night Moves’. The album was recorded in ‘Soundpush’ studios (Netherlands), came out in 1983 and was a breakthrough for Beckers and his music in Europe and Japan. His albums where licensed at Polydor KK (Japan) and Steinar Records (UK). In the mid 80’s the guitarist went to California/USA to produce his next two records, ‘High Tension’ (1986) and ‘Chris Beckers’ (1988) featuring bassist Abraham Laboriel, drummer Alex Acuña, saxophonists Ernie Watts and Justo Almario and percussionist Paulinho da Costa. He also composed and recorded much of his music in his own production place, the ‘CrisCrazz’ studio, established in Nordhorn, Germany. A ‘Best Of’ album titled ‘Cruising’ was next on the list in 1988.
Till the end of the 80’s Beckers regularly promoted his music on tours, often accompanied by the outstanding Dutch musicians Marcel Serierse, Marcel Schimscheimer, Herman Wolters and Eddie Conard, or international jazz greats such as saxophonist Ernie Watts, pianist Jasper van’t Hof or percussionist Paulinho da Costa.
As he had gained a lot of studio experience during his work on former albums, Beckers decided to start production work for other artists as well. ‘Pyramids’, the second solo album of Dutch guitarist Eef Albers, was realized in 1987 and released on CrisCrazz Records.
In the early ’90s Chris more and more focused on studio work, producing other artists and bands. ‘Private Room’ was the name of his next studio where he worked on albums for Dutch groups like Jump’n’ Jive, Free Kick, Wolters & Vermuyen, Tom Klein and many more.
He also produced two solo albums ‘Late Night Breeze’ (1992, published by German label ‘Intersound’) and ‘Wild Kingdom’ (1993, for CrisCrazz Records). After the release of ‘Wild Kingdom’ (with a.o., drummer Billy Cobham, saxophonist Ernie Watts, keyboarder Jasper van’t Hof and percussionist Nippy Noya) and touring in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, Chris Beckers decided to take steps to leave his residence in Nordhorn, Germany.
His new place for living and working became Amsterdam in the Netherlands where a new studio, ‘Beau Garage’, was built in the museumquarter of the Dutch capitol in 1996/97. One year later Beckers picked up producing again, working on albums for other artists like Dutch jazz-group Jump’n’ Jive and Indonesian soul man Jimi Bellmartin. Chris also started composing own music for his following solo album. During 1999 and 2000 he recorded with a.o. Peter Erskine (drums), Jimmy Haslip (bass), Ernie Watts (saxophone), Michiel Borstlap (piano) and Saskia Laroo (trumpet) to complete the music for ‘Messenger Of Truth’, the new Chris Beckers album, released in May 2001. The guitarist went on the road with female Indonesian violist Luluk Purwanto to promote the album. A compilation CD, ‘Nightcruising’ (The Music Of…) with remastered material and a new version of ‘Splash’, followed in 2003.
In his studio he worked on ‘Nostalgia’, an album for Dutch fusion drummer Rene Engel and did the mastering for ‘Duo Conversation’ a cd by Urugyan guitarist Leonardo Amuedo and Dutch drummer Marcel Serierse. Chris also got involved in ‘world music’ projects. Recording, mixing and mastering musicians and groups like Brazilian singer/guitarist Marcelo Godoy, Indian guitarist Dipankar, Bosnian gypsy soul singer Ljiljana Buttler and Mostar Revival or the Iraqi Maqam Ensemble & Farida. In 2006 Chris produced the cd ‘Girando’ for Brazillian singer/guitarist Rasiko.
Chris started writing material for a new cd during the year 2008 and recording sessions took place in ‘Beau Garage’ and ‘Phantom Recordings’ in Los Angeles. The album, titled ‘Seven Frames Of Mind’, features LA rhythm section, drummer Simon Phillips and bassist Jimmy Haslip. European top instrumentalists Jasper van’t Hof (piano), Eric Vloeimans (trumpet), Tony Lakatos (sax) and Mike del Ferro (piano) joined to complete this new collection of Beckers’ music.
‘Seven Frames Of Mind’ was released on CrisCrazz Records end of May 2009. In 2010/2011 Chris started playing concerts again with Herman Wolters (keyboards), René Creemers (drums) and Gregor Sonnenberg (bass).
‘Navigation’, the latest studio album was released in September 2014 — Featuring Jimmy Haslip, Gary Novak, Eric Vloeimans, Chris Hinze, Herman Wolters, René Creemers, Marcel Serierse, Hermine Deurloo, Jeroen de Rijk, Efraim Trujillo, Ilja Reingoud, Phaedra Kwant, Red Limo String Quartet.
Due to an overloading problem with the guitarist’s hands, concerts to promote the CD had to be cancelled. However, Chris played a short tour in November/December 2014 joined by Herman Wolters (keyboards), Phaedra Kwant (bass), Marcel Serierse (drums) and Jeroen der Rijk (percussion).
February 2018 – Chris moved to his new studio located in the heart of Amsterdam and played concerts in Germany and the Netherlands later that year.
On January 4, 2019 Chris Beckers & Friends (Herman Wolters, René Creemers, Teun Creemers, Jeroen de Rijk) recorded a concert on film on location in Amsterdam.
‘Grafschafter Bluesnight’ concerts in February 2019 and 2020 with Chris, Ralph de Jongh, Hans Lafaille, Herman Wolters and Feico Nijdam).
While recording ideas for a new studio album Chris produced one song that inspired him to add vocals. The track titled ‘The Colour Of Blue’ features Dutch/Surinam rapper Adeiye ‘MC Complex’ Tjon Tam Pau and Hungarian saxophone player Tony Lakatos. The single and video has been released in March 2022.
The Colour Of Blue · Single-CCR 058 (2022)
Stars · Single-CCR 056 (2014)
Navigation · CD-CCR 055 (2014)
Seven Frames Of Mind · CD-CCR 050 (2009)
Nightcruising · CD-CCR 045 (2003)
Messenger Of Truth · CD-CCR 035 (2001)
Wild Kingdom · CD-CCR 028 (1993)
Late Night Breeze · CD-Intersound (1992)
Is This Love? · CD-Single-CCR 024 (1990)
Crossover · CD-CCR 021 (1988)
Chris Beckers · CD/LP-CCR 018 (1988)
High Tension · CD/LP-CCR 016 (1986)
Night Moves · LP-CCR 007 (1983)
Splash · LP-CCR 006 (1982)
Blue Motions · LP-CCR 053 (1980)
Chris has worked with:
Abraham Laboriel, Ack van Rooyen, Adeiye Tjon Tam Pau, Alex Acuna, Angelo Verploegen, Arlen Azevedo, Big Barchem Band, Backwater Bluesband Revisited, Bart Koster, Bart van Lier, Bergit Lewis, Billy Cobham, Caroline Goudswaard, Carwin Gijsing, Cees van der Laarse, Cesar Zuiderwijk, Charly Angenois, Chris Hinze, Darrell Arnold, Deff Cramer, Dick Morrissey, Dipankar, Eddie Conard, Eef Albers, Efraim Trujillo, Eric Vloeimans, Ernie Watts, Essiet Essiet, Farah Day, Farida & Iraqi Maqam Ensemble, Frank Burks, Free Kick, Fritz Brause, Gary Novak, Gene Conners, Gerry Brown, Gregor Sonnenberg, Hans La Faille, Hans Vroomans, Henk Zomer, Herman Finkers, Houdini Horns, Henrique Firpi, Herman Wolters, Hugh Kanza, Ilja Reijngoud, Jan Hollestelle, Jan Oosthof, Jan Schuurman, Jan Wessels, Jasper van’t Hof, Jeff Lorber, Jeroen de Rijk, Jeroen Vierdag, Jeroen Vrolijk, Jimi Bellmartin, Jimmy Haslip, Johan Vermuyen, Jonas Pap, Jose Lopretti, Jump’n Jive, Jurandir Gomes, Jurre Haanstra, Justo Almario, Kier van der Werf, Koos Serierse, Leo Janssen, Leonardo Amuedo, Leon Klaasse, Liber Torriente, Lode de Roos, Luluk Purwanto, Manuel Hugas, Marcelo Godoy, Marcel Schimscheimer, Marcel Serierse, Marius Beets, Martin Verdonk, Mata Mandir, Michel van Schie, Michiel Borstlap, Mike Del Ferro, Nippy Noya, Paul Schuurman, Paulinho da Costa, Peter Beets, Peter Brussee, Peter Erskine, Peter Guidi, Peter Schoof, Peter van Straten, Phaedra Kwant, Rasiko, Red Limo String Quartet, Rene Creemers, Rene Engel, Rene van Helsdingen, Richard Hallebeek, Ricky de Vito, Robert J. Reinders, Rolf Delfos, Rosa King, Roy Kuschel, Saskia Laroo, Serge Bredewold, Seven Eleven Horns, Sietse Huisman, Simon Phillips, Stormvogel, Tom Klein, Tony Lakatos, Ton Dijkman, Ton Nieuwenhuizen, Ulco Bed, Will Maas, Wim Dijkgraaf.