Christopher Parnis is a multiple award-winning upright bassist, bandleader, and composer from Peterborough, Ontario finishing his degree studying jazz at Toronto’s prestigious Humber College. He performs regularly around Toronto and the GTA with peers and has shared the stage with established players such as Brian Dickinson, Reg Schwager, Allison Au, Ethan Ardelli, Caity Gyorgy, Andy Ballantyne, Nathan Hiltz, Alana Bridgewater, Morgan Childs, Ben Bishop, Trevor Giancola, Trevor Hogg, Brownman Ali, and Stich Wynston. As well, he leads his own band the Christopher Parnis Group playing original contemporary jazz with a focus on interplay and improvisation.
Christopher Parnis is a multiple award-winning upright bassist, bandleader, and composer from Peterborough, Ontario. He spent his childhood bouncing between different instruments until finally falling in love with the electric bass at the age of 13. Over the next years he was fortunate enough to study improvisation with formidable Canadian pianist Steve Holt and begin working as a bandleader and sideman in his hometown.
At 18, Christopher left home to pursue his Bachelor of Music at Toronto's Humber College where he took up and began to focus on the upright bass, receiving the Toronto Musician’s Association Carne H. Bray Memorial Award, the Lenny Boyd Memorial Award, and most recently, the AM 740 Award. As well, he played in the Bracken-Carson Quartet which won their division of the 2021 TD Niagara Jazz 4 the Ages competition. Since moving to Toronto, he has had the chance to study privately with Don Thompson, Neil Swainson, Mike Downes, Jon Maharaj, Kieran Overs, and Larry Grenadier.
Between bandleading and sideman work, Christopher has performed with groups at Toronto landmarks like The Rex, the Jazz Bistro, and the Horseshoe Tavern, as well as in festivals such as the TD Victoria International Jazz Festival, the TU Jazz Festival, the Live Jazz at Ontario Place Concert Series, the Westben Jazz Fringe Festival, and many different events for his hometown’s International Jazz Day festival celebrations. He has had the fortune to share the stage with musicians such as Brian Dickinson, Reg Schwager, Allison Au, Ethan Ardelli, Caity Gyorgy, Andy Ballantyne, Nathan Hiltz, Alana Bridgewater, Morgan Childs, Ben Bishop, Trevor Giancola, Trevor Hogg, Brownman Ali, and Stich Wynston.
Christopher is currently entering the final year of his degree, and with that, gearing up to record a full-length album of his original music. As well, he is returning to bandleading performances in the jazz/BAM tradition in earnest, setting up different bands for performances with some of Toronto’s foremost improvisers.