Chris Jonas

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Chris is co-founder, Executive Director and team member at Littleglobe.  He is a composer, filmmaker, intermedia/video artist and creative facilitator working on the intersection of the visual and acoustic, creating pieces that engage and challenge context.

Chris Jonas and Memorylines Ensemble

He has long been a media mentor, facilitator and educator collaboratively producing many projects. He was director of the Littleglobe’s Center for Creative Community Engagement 2012-15 and director of the Stories of Learning and Turn the Lens programs, training students and community members in rural, urban and native communities across New Mexico.  He has produced two PBS documentaries including Mark Chino (2015) and the 2012 documentary feature, Our Time is Now, made in collaboration with teens across New Mexico about their experiences in public high schools and carried to 300 million US homes via the CPB/American Graduate Program.

As a composer and media artist he has received many commissions for projects in the US and Europe including works for the Santa Fe Opera, EU Capital of Culture (Cork, Ireland), Museo Nacional de Antropología de México in Mexico City, SITE Santa Fe and for ensembles as varied as the Crossing Choir (Philadelphia), TILT Brass (NYC) and Del Sol String Quartet (San Francisco).  He was  co-composer/associate producer for the documentary feature Sembene! which premiered at Sundance 2015 and was featured at Cannes, Telluride Film Festival and other venues around the world.

Prior to his move to Santa Fe in 2001, Jonas gained international recognition while living in New York City as a composer and saxophone player recording 45 albums, touring internationally, and leading the critically acclaimed ensemble The Sun Spits Cherries. It was during this time that he developed the musical “conduction” and compositional techniques that would characterize many of the logistical and aesthetic systems that he would apply for musical and intermedia projects. His New York City years also included long term membership in experimental/jazz bands led by Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, William Parker, the Brooklyn Sax Quartet and in Butch Morris‘ conduction ensembles. During this period he traveled worldwide guest conducting and composing for orchestras and creative ensembles and receiving commissions for orchestral works, circus noir, soundtracks, installations and new music ensembles.

Jonas received his BA (1988) from Oberlin College in Art History/Art Studio, an MA (1999) from Wesleyan University in World Music / Composition (specializing in intermedia performance) and a Certificate (2001) in Multimedia Digital Design from New York University. Jonas has taught media arts and storytelling at the Institute of American Indian Arts.  He is a Rockwood Arts and Social Engagement fellow.  Along with co-founder Molly Sturges, Jonas received the 2008 United States Artists Award.  He is President of Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Foundation.