B i o g r a p h y
Christopher Volak is a versatile guitarist, teacher and composer with nearly five decades of experience. A formally-trained classical guitarist, Chris studied guitar with Bruce Holzman at Florida State University, Loris Chobanian at Baldwin Wallace College, and holds a bachelors degree in film scoring from California State University Northridge. He has been performing regularly as a solo classical guitarist since the age of 12, and has played in venues ranging from large concert halls to intimate coffee houses.
In addition to his classical training, Chris has an abiding love of traditional and roots-based music, including blues, rock, country and American and Celtic folk music. He has played electric and acoustic guitar with a variety of acoustic and alternative-rock acts in both the LA and Denver areas. Currently he is a regular "sideman" for LA-based singer songwriter Raspin Stewart and will be featured on his soon-to-be released CD "King of Fools." In the 1990s in the Denver area, Chris performed and recorded with the bands King Drift and The Piranha Brothers, and with singer-songwriter Deb Orrent.
Chris has also been teaching guitar since the 1970s and enjoys teaching students of all ages, styles and abilities. In addition to providing expert formal training for serious classical guitarists, he loves to teach beginners and casual players in whatever style they wish to learn. Chris believes that musical knowledge is key to becoming a better musician. As he likes to say, "there's more to music than wiggling your fingers." Harmony, chords, scales and how they work together is always a feature of his lessons.
Writing music is another aspect of Chris' musical career. In 2012 he released "Echo of a Dream", a CD of solo acoustic-guitar music available on Itunes and CD Baby. His recently completed film-scoring degree has helped him hone his composition skills and improve his technical knowledge. In the summer of 2014 he did music and post-production sound for the comedy "Intimate Temp Agency" and the talk show "The Dr. Luciana Show" -- two web series by director/producer Luciana Lagana. "The Dr. Luciana Show" was runner-up for "Best Television Series" at the 2014 Action on Film International Film Festival.
Chris' musical influences include classical music from all periods -- from the Renaissance to the present day -- as well as folk, blues, rock, Celtic and Latin music. These influences, plus his many years "in the trenches" as a local-level performer, have made Chris into an eclectic, experienced musician who can create music for a great variety of different applications.
1962 - Me, my dad and my first guitar -- a vintage Fisher-Price.