Chris MENTENS studied musicology at the Catholic University of Louvain, where he graduated suma cum laude. He is a principally a self-taught musician, though he attended bass clinics with Hein VAN DE GEYN, Riccardo DEL FRA and John CLAYTON.
Chris has been associated for many years with percussionist Chris JORIS and his bands, such as BIHOGO and the Chris JORIS Experience, with whom he appeared in many festivals and recorded the live CD The Chris JORIS Experience "Live" (W.E.R.F. 012). He also worked with TRANSFUSIE and NO VIBRATO. He has occasionally accompanied numerous solo artists from Mal WALDRON, Deborah BROWN, Gordon BRISKER, Al DE FINO and Slide HAMPTON to Gene CONNORS, Silvia DROSTE and Judy NIEMACK.
Chriss ten-piece ensemble, PRANA, performed to wide acclaim at the last Belga Jazz Festival. He performed at the Middelheim Jazz Festival, with The Jan Muës Septet and with The Chris Joris Experience. The CDs and concerts of both bands include Chris Mentenss original compositions.
Chris has recently teamed up with Los Angeles-based vibraphone player Eldad TARMU, with whom he toured in Europe in late 2001 and in 2002. On this tour they recorded a live-CD in Berlin. (coming out soon).
Chris MENTENS' own band is called CHRIS MENTENS JAZZ VAN; it is a quintet with Sam VERSWEYVELD (trumpet), Joe HIGHAM (sax), Jan NIHOUL (vibes) and Bilou DONEUX (drums). They play all original compositions and arrangements by Chris.
He also played with the Benoît RUWET trio, with guitarist Pierre VAN DORMAEL.
Chris teaches Jazz History at the Music Conservatory of Antwerp, at the Hogeschool van Antwerpen, at the Antwerp High School for the Arts and at the Antwerp Jazz Studio.
(See top of page for main discography)
Jan Muës Septet: Mystic Smile, 1993. original composition: Why Sunglasses ?
Chris Joris: On Childrens Street, 1996.
Kelst: "Dust on my heart", 1995.
G.C.Davis: "Feelings", 1996.
Next projects a CD of The Eldad Tarmu Jazz Ensemble