One of Chicago's most diverse guitarists!
Chris Forte has played almost every type of gig or venue available to a musician, from Television to Radio, Jazz or Pop, Acoustic or Electric, Originals to Musicals, Live and Studio, performing in 28 different states and 5 different countries outside of the U.S., leaving no stone unturned in his 21+ years of live experience.
After spending a childhood playing classical piano, Chris picked up the guitar at the age of 16 and was playing in bars throughout Chicago by age 19. Landing a full-time gig playing in Tony & Tina's Wedding in Chicago at age 22, Chris learned quickly how to perform 6-7 shows a week as a professional and has never looked back since.
Chris received a Bachelor of Music degree in 1998 from Roosevelt University and was successfully able to play professionally while he was a music student. Maintaining a presence in Chicago's original music scene attracted attention from the producers of The Jenny Jones Show that led to a recurring onscreen role.
After graduating college, Forte played extensively throughout the Blues scene in Chicago, landing a full-time gig playing with Sam Cockrell & The Groove and while touring the US, Canada and Europe he played with Blues Legends: B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Lonnie Brooks, The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Duke Robillard. He recorded 2 albums with Sam, including Colorblind which featured The Memphis Horns and one of Chris' own compositions, 'Tryin' To Get Over Losin' You'. It was with this band that Chris was awarded The Albert King Award for his extraordinary guitar work.
The Forte Band
The Forte Band has been playing shows in Chicago and throughout the country since 2001. In 2003 Chris joined The Larry King Orchestra as the lead guitarist and discovered his passion in providing musical services to private events. As the relationship with Larry and MFO Entertainment Group developed, it became obvious that the talent and depth of The Forte Band fit perfectly with the roster of bands booked through MFO. Being confident in Chris' skills as a musician and band-leader as well as with the talent of his group the project grew into a top-tiered dance band.
In 2004 The Forte Band released their own original CD, Soul Farmer, and the band continues to play festivals and large venues such as The Abbey Pub and House Of Blues.
Now expanding the band to as many as 12 pieces, Chris feels he has hit a new level with an exceptional group of outstanding musicians ready to perform any style and cover any need with the utmost passion and professionalism.
Chris currently teaches Guitar Techniques and directs the Jazz Guitar Ensemble at Columbia College in Chicago, and he directed the CJHS Jazz Ensemble for 9 years at Chicagoland Jewish High School in Deerfield, IL.
In addition to his musical undertakings and achievements, Chris is a devoted family man, married for 8 years to his wife, Kristin, with 2 beautiful children whom he considers his greatest life accomplishments.
Began playing in Tony & Tina's Wedding in 1994, and has performed professionally ever since.
Appeared on multiple episodes of Jenny Jones Show spoofing the roaming musicians from There's Something About Mary.
Recorded, composed and performed alongside the world famous Memphis Horns, Otis Redding's horn section.
Had his original song, The Tomahawk, featured on the ABC hit reality show, The Shark Tank.
Performed live with Heather Horton on The Dean Richard Show on WGN Radio to over 1 million listeners.
Has performed well over 2,000 times on TV, Radio, in Musicals, Festivals, Auditoriums, Clubs, Restaurants, Weddings and Events of all kinds and sizes.
Had another original song, Tryin' To Get Over Losin' You co-written with Sam Cockrell featured on WXRT's Local Anesthetic with Richard Milne.
In 2000 was awarded The Albert King Award, given by the W.C. Handy Awards after his work at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.
At age 22, was featured on a compilation CD titled Chicago's Finest Fingers, representing a top 10 of Chicago guitarists.