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About Me

Christopher Hess

My musical journey began in Sudbury, Ontario, with the influence of my father, Wolf Hess recording the likes of Richy Havens, Murray Mclauglan, Loreena Mckennit, and many other recording artist, Canadian and International. (more history)

Musical highlights:

  • Touring with Punjabi by Nature
  • Opening for 5440, Bass is Base, Wide Mouth Mason, Alana Miles, the righteous Babe Ani DiFranco, Bruce Cockburn, Burton Cummings, Blue Rodeo, The Viletones, Claude Dubois, Jack Soul, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Carmen Soriano (Philippine Superstar) shows over 100,000 in attendance.
  • At 14 years of age, assisted with tech set up for the 1983 Russian Symphony album recording with father Wolf Hess. 128 channels through a classic Midas mixer.
  • Juno Nomination for World Music Category Juno Awards 1997.
  • Played saxophone on Klattu’s Terry Drapper’s album Light Years Ahead.   
  • Recorded in Montreal with Marc Beaudin (Alfie Zapocasta) in Studio Piccolo owned and Operated by Mark Langis and Dominic Messier (currently with Celine Dion).
  • Recorded with Marc Beaudin at the old cbc studio at Davisville in Toronto(super nice room)with Steve Wallace, John Sumner and Marc Iseman  
  • Episode #1 , "Rita Mcneil and friends" with Jann Arden (Punjabi By Nature) CBC
  • Worked with the very talented and good friend Andrew Craig (Canadian Idol) (CBC Radio) on many of his personal projects, as well as a live at the Horseshoes recording for Ashley MacIssack (unreleased).
  • Recorded members of Sass Jordan, Kim Mitchell, Honeymoon Suite.
  • Recorded music for Nelson Mandella’s skydome appearance in 1994 (Andrew Craig production).
  • Recorded and Produced music with Jay Aymar www.jayaymar.com for about 17 years and have assisted him in his career choices and recording/production.
  • Ian Tyson has covered one of Jay aymar's song's on Ian's album entitled "From Yellowhead to Yellowstone". Song 7 is entitled "My Cherry Coloured Rose" written about the passing of Rose Cherry, Don Cherry's wife, with permission and praise from Mr. Cherry eventually made it on one of Jays older albums to be discovered by Ian Tyson, Jay performs over 200+ shows a year across Canada and the US yearly.
  • I know work for FMIC Fender /KMC Canada and record with a circle of longtime musicians, friends and writers.  
  • Produced and Recorded Kick Ptarmigan "Feelgooderie" album 2010, nominated for best duo or group for the Northern Ontario Music and Film awards.
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  • Some of my older and more recent works have been nominated for awards in the Canadian Folk Music Awards, Ontario Music and Film Awards, Socan Awards, Juno'Awards, Q107, ect.
  • I love to find solace in the back woods and rivers of northern Ontario kayaking, rock and ice climbing and sailing and kiteskiing Georgian Bay to balance myself .

I took some time off from Music, spending it on the banks of Georgian Bay enjoying the beauty of the outdoors while learning new life skills of rock and ice climbing and an extreme sport called Kiteskiing www.speedkiter.com and have become very passionate about going over a 100km an hour powered by the wind. “It makes me happy”.

 

 


Momentous moments in music:

Having Ellis Marsalis sit right in front of me at a gig in Victoria BC, opening for Bass is Base and after the lights went up, he looking directly to me nodded and tipped his fedora hat. I looked behind me to make sure it was not for someone else. I turned and he laughed at me. A very good feather in my musical fedora.

Having Bruce Cockburn aggresivley hug me after a show as he was going on and i was heading off and he grabbed me and said "you Guys FN Rock "

Having Jeff Healey sit right in front of me during an opening gig for the Fabulous Thunderbirds @ Healey's bar and grill. I swear he was smillin and looking me in the eyes, we were only 5 feet away.  And a great gig with the Tone Dogs Alex Carter.

Headlining the Winnipeg Folk Festival watching the sun going down in the west and a huge thunder storm in the east.

Having Ani DiFranco drink me under the table.


Chris' strengths:
  • Vast studio recording knowledge (process and gear)
  • A great ear for harmony vocal and horn parts
  • Awesome input for song arranging and direction
  • Able to milk the best Zen out of an artist
  • Can supply Saxophones, vocals, percussion for recordings

History:

It all began in Hanmer, Ontario, while singing in the church choir with my cousin Marc, the only 2 boys out of 63 members. My mother Louella and I would practice the choir songs while doing the dishes every night. It was a vast focus on harmony at a young age. 

My musical journey began with the influence of my father, Wolf Hess recording the likes of Richy Havens, Murray Mclauglan, Loreena Mckennit, and many other recording artist, Canadian and International.

As a child, I would be playing with my toys in recording sessions as musical timepieces were being recorded. It was said that if I was somewhat interested in the music and not the toys that they perhaps had a hit on their hands. I was very glad to be a child sounding board for the majors that worked with my father.

I took up the drums during the eighties and of course had the big hair and the big heavy metal drum kit in the garage. I started playing with local musical friends and realized that my friend and next door neighbor was an excellent drummer. So I would have to find another instrument to play. 

I was in high school and was to learn a xylophone song and of course did not, so I was thrown a saxophone (litteraly thrown) and told to learn how to play it over a weekend. I realized I could release my inner emotions thru this Brass and copper apparatus. I went to College full time, taking a few lessons from the local University professors. Having found a cool and very musical counterpart in College, Mark Higginbottom. We decided to record Mark’s songs. Mark was a very strong influence on my musical direction. We decided to move to Toronto where we eventually found ourselves in a very musical environment with other musical friends. We had a pretty big studio house in North York with a cool engineer/producer friend Cameron Johnson. Cam was a sound guru and I learned a lot from him in terms of how to make music sound good.

The whole process of recording/editing and  mixing was inspired by Cam and of course, my father. Meeting guys like Terry Brown(Rush..ect) and Eddie Kramer(Hendrix) didnt hurt either. I eventually dedicated about ten years to work with one of the biggest music stores in Canada (Long and McQuade) and then had access to all the toys. A good friend suggested I audition for a reagae / Bhangra project and was asked to join this outfit called Punjabi by Nature. First show was the "Ill Communication" tour for Beastie Boys (1995). Musically it was a huge jump from the 20 head club gigs to the big stage. For the next 4 years I would work with PBN (Punjabi by Nature) as well as running a recording studio with another good friend Shane Carter. Shane was very huge influence as well as Shane was very much a gear head and a great partner to have in a studio environment.

I always felt really strong and passionate about the recording process, how to manipulate sound, starting on a 4 track cassette, to 8 track cassette, to 16 track 1/2 tape, to enter the digital realm, now we can do anything we want to audio ... we have come away from the actual abilities of the musician, where we can have 300 edits in a track, which i have done and it sounds awesome, but its not a true representation of the real abilities and soul of the musician singing into the can. still to attain the essence of any song, the musicians knowldge of their own music will prevail on any medium. 

A creative mind needs to absorb energy for inspiration to able onself to be in a creative state. Northern Ontario is a place that has inspired so many artists that we are so blessed to be able to sail, paddle any river and lake to find solace and tranquility. I love sitting under a twisted pine tree on a tiny private island, looking west .. that makes good music .. I have sailed along Georgian Bay from Manitoulin to Parry Sound and try to find myself there as often as i can.                     



 

©2017. Christopher Hess. All Rights Reserved. Email: chris@chrishess.ca LOGIN
About Chris

Chrisí musical journey began with the influence of his father, Wolf Hess recording the likes of Richy Havens, Murray Mclauglan, Loreena Mckennit, and many other recording artists.

Gear List

Chris Hess' studio gear list.

Collaborations

Links to artists' that Chris has been involved with.