Musician and Percussionist, Chris Paquette was born May 28th in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, 1983. Despite toddler photos of Chris holding a blur of toy drum mallets, the alto sax was his first instrument starting in the fifth grade and continuing through college. It was not until his sophomore year of high school that he bought his first pair of congas and immediately was a part of numerous bands and projects outside of school. It was the T.C.C. (Twin Cities Community) Gospel choir directed by Robert Robinson that truly started Chris’s playing as a professional percussionist.
For the next two years, Chris remained self taught, busy and performing in and around Minneapolis and St Paul. In his senior year of high school he met his teacher Marcos “Chico” Perez and began studying traditional style playing at the Culture Center of MN. Chris Paquette studied under Chico for approximately two years.
After high school starting in 2001, Chris attended Columbia College in Chicago for two and a half years for music. He was hired to play behind Columbia’s choirs and hosted a monthly drum circle for three years through the college.
Unlimited and living in Chicago, Chris Paquette has been a part of countless projects and backed a wide variety of artists such as these...
▪ Chicago Afrobeat Project -- 2004-2010 various mini tours
▪ Dizu Plaajtes founder and former leader of the South African group, Amampondo "Chicago Mini Tour" 2003 kids workshop and performance YMCA, after school programs and collective performance in Grant Park, performance at Daily Plaza, performance for South African Consulate, performance at Hot House
▪ Singer/ R&B, Jaya -- 2008 opened up for Anthony Hamilton and Chrisette Michelle (both at the House Of Blues in Chicago) and headlined our own separate shows also at the house of blues.
• Jazz, Funk Saxman Frank Catalano -- House of Blues in Chicago, The Blue Note in NYC 2007, Recorded on albums "BANG!" and "LIVE Only!" 2006-present
▪ Live house music project headed by Andy C, BSTC (Black Stone Theatre Collective) ft singers Yaw, JL, Russoul, the Primeridian and KJ Rose -- Opening act for Res (Doubledoor, Chicago) 2007, JDavey (Victor Hotel Chicago IL) and Eric Roberson (Doubledoor Chicago IL), Kindred Family Soul at the House of Blues 2009
▪ R&B/hip hop group, Soul People -- 2007 backed singer Estelle 2008 backed Glenn Lewis, Gordon Chambers, Vaughn Anthony Stephans
▪ DJ Twilight Tone -- 2007 backed for Lexus event
▪ 2008 backed R&B/Soul singers Omar (from the UK) and Eric Roberson
• Chicago hiphop group, Animate Objects -- Opening act for Dilated Peoples in 2008 (at Green Dolphin St, Chicago, IL), Recorded on album "high notes for low lifes"
▪ Singer/Songwriter, Koku Gonza -- Opened for Yazarah 2009 (Funky Budha), 2009 Chicago Soul Fest Union Park, Opening act for Anthony David in Columbus, Ohio July 2010 France summer tour 2012, Recorded on album "Radiozphrenic" 2007-present
▪ Opening act for Tito Carillo in 2008 with my own put together latin jazz group "Chris Paquette Quartet" (Andys Jazz Club Chicago, IL)
▪ (Chicago based Hip Hop/R&B group) Zzaje -- "Walk the Runway Chicago" 2009 (UIC), Feb 2010, Jamaica Jazz festival backed Russoul, July 2010 backed R&B group 'Brownstone', 2011 backed Chico Debarge, Dwele, Christopher Williams, Al B Sure, John B, El Debarge (country club hills and arie crown theater opening for Faith Evans and Kem) and Roy Ayers, George Clinton, 2012 backed Lee England Jr
▪ R&B Singer Alfonso Hunter -- backed in 2010
▪ Detroit based jazz group Music Noire -- 2009 Ann Arbor, Michigan Jazz Fest
▪ Singer/ Song writer /Actress Lauren Frost -- 2009 backed for event at Shedd Aquarium Chicago
▪ (Chicago based Hip Hop/R&B group) Verzatile -- 2011 backed Hip Hop MC, Que Billah as opening act for Talib Kweli (Shrine main stage, Chicago)
▪ Live Music and Dance Collective Consort at Pritzker Pavillion Millennium Park 2011 "HipHop Chicago" featuring "Sidewalk Chalk", "Berto Ramone" "Stick and Move dance troop"
▪ Harold Washington Culture Center productions -- 2012 "One Singular Sensation" "DREAMGIRLS"
▪ Trumpet -- Kafele Bandele -- “Acid Reign”
▪ Guitar/Singer -- Aaron Williams -- “Everwinding Road”
▪ live house music project headed by Andy C -- the BSTC -- "BSTC experience"
▪ Guitar/Singer -- Matt Santos -- "this burning ship of fools"
▪ Tenor Sax -- Frank Catalano -- “BANG!” "LIVE Only!"
▪ Guitar/Singer -- Koku Ganza -- "radiozphrenic" "Love Culture"
▪ HipHop group -- Animate Objects -- "high notes for low lifes"
▪ Singer/Song writer -- David Hayes -- "In With The Old"
▪ Singer/Song writer -- Taylor John -- "In living rooms"
▪ Singer/Song writer -- Nicole Garza -- "Reinvented"
▪ Singer/Song writer -- Obi Soulstar -- "Soulrockinrolla""AfroRock Religion"
- DUB Reggae band Ted -- "Ted Sirotas Heavyweight DUB meets the Scientist"
- Singer, Sax player, song writer -- Marquel Jordan -- "catalyst"
- world fusion instrumental group -- New Constellations -- "New Constellations"
• Kafele Bandele "Stone Crazy"
• Koku Gonza "L.O.V.E." and "this beat is for you"
• Animate Objects "Jesse Jackson"
On a average week, Chris walks through many different worlds in the Chicago music scene and each week is dramatically different. Once a week he plays with a ten piece funk, soul group, The Midnight Sun Band and is a resident musician for Lincolnshire Dance Academy. Also this year, in an 8 week residency, Chris is proud to have started teaching Drums at elementary schools to kids through the outreach program of Old Town School of folk music.
Paquette shows a chameleon versatility unmatched in the Chicago Arts scene but still manages to stick out. He's a musician's musician, as well as a crowd favorite who can get any party going. Currently besides working on other artists projects, Chris Paquette is working on not one, but two...maybe three of his own solo projects.