Educated at the University of Arizona, where he earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Percussion Performance, Khris used the skills learned under Gary Cook – as well as jazz piano instruction from Jeff Haskell – to craft a versatile music career. Khris has played everything from orchestral percussion with Tucson Symphony and Arizona Opera (the latter of which he played with for 20 years) to keyboard for Broadway National Tours (Wicked, The Book of Mormon, Jersey Boys). Additionally, he has played featured performances at the Sedona Film Festival, Musical Instrument Museum, Austin Cabaret Theatre, and New York’s Metropolitan Room, to name a few. Khris also arranged and conducted Hot Stuff: A Symphonic Tribute to Donna Summer, which debuted in 2019.
In his spare time, Khris works with the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus, Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona, and the Rotary Club of Tucson.
Andrew attended Shenandoah University and Conservatory of Music in Winchester, Virginia where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education and Trombone Performance. He later attended Florida State University for Arts Administration and Public Administration.
The 25 year Tucsonan landed here to start her music biz career in radio music promotions after attending West Virginia University’s School of Journalism. Her experience as the Underwriting Director, Jazz Music Director and Station Music Director at WWVU became the foundation for her 20 year involvement with Southern Arizona’s music community. She also worked with the performance rights organization, BMI, as a writer liaison, organizing artist showcases.
She continued the support of Tucson’s local artists in media, initially at 104.1 The Point, as afternoon air talent, then as on air talent at KFMA doing weekends. Soon after moving to AZ Lotus Corp radio, Chita became afternoon drive host and music director at 96.1 KLPX, where she formed Live & Local – one of the first multi media entities created to promote local artists on radio, television and online – as well as at live performances in the community.
During her 10 year career in radio, which included being Program Director at KLPX, she worked with hundreds of musicians, event organizers, and local community members and non profits. She went on to open her own business, Hoopla Management, a Marketing and Event Management then returned to radio as a Promotions Director and Account Exec at 94.9 MIXfm.
Chita played flute, sax, and oboe in high school and guitar as an adult. She is most notably touted as the master of the slide whistle a skilled she learned while attending Bunker Hill Elementary School in WV. She is also funny. Very funny. Just ask her.
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
He has also performed stand-up comedy opening for Jerry Seinfeld, Gilbert Gottfried and Phyllis Diller. He routinely takes Mayor Jonathan Rothschild’s money at poker. His greatest accomplishment is his 35 marriage to wife, Lorraine, and being the father of Jill, Ben and Zach.
Photo by Steve Meckler Distinction 2021
Photo by Steve Meckler Distinction 2021
Versace has performed on twelve studio albums: two as a leader and ten as a sideman, including Jazz Hymns with guitarist Jerry Hahn and Kristian 3.0 with Take-6 vocalist, Khristian Dentley. He has also had the privilege of working as a sideman with several internationally recognized artists: Lewis Nash, Warren Wolf, Terell Stafford, Brice Winston, Joe Saylor, Troy Roberts, Dave Stryker, Roxy Coss and Chuck Israels. Versace travels yearly to Taipei, Taiwan where he is on faculty at the Fu Jen University Jazz – a camp which coordinates with the American Institute of Taiwan Jazz Outreach Program. Most recently, he has been a member and appointed board director of the newly minted Tucson Jazz Collective (TJC). The group, which has performed for the SAACA Jazz Legends Concert with vocalist, Becca Stevens, continues to perform in and around Southern Arizona.