Notes-Worthy: Christopher Moors

Notes-Worthy: Christopher Moors

C.U. Bands and Fans' Terry Brown chats with CHRISTOPHER MOORS, the singer, lead trumpeter and guitarist in Cosmology, along with Seth Anders (tenor saxophone and backing vocals), Vance Bollinger (keyboards), Young Kim (lead guitar), Ben Taylor (bass) and Slammin' Sam Carroll (drums).

Cosmology is such a beautiful mix of genres, including your own compositions. What is your history in music that led you to form and develop this band?

Thank you very much. It has been a long road that lead me here. For many years, I focused on classical gigs and have played with most of the orchestras in the area: Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Danville Symphony (10 years), Prairie Ensemble, Sinfonia ... I love jazz as well, playing in my first big band in the late '80s, and working hard on my solo chops since the '90s. My favorites (there are so many) start with Louis Armstrong and go through Doc Severinsen, Maynard Ferguson, Chet Baker, Lee Morgan, Woody Shaw, Wynton, Clark Terry and my teachers, Shab and Ray Sasaki.

More than anything, I love great songs. The Beatles captured my heart in high school, and I spun out from there. When I was 15, I started writing my own songs. With my robust formal studies, it lay in the background for a while. After my school years, in 2000, I moved up to Minneapolis and lived there for six years mostly writing songs, teaching, playing gigs and searching for the sound that was my own. After deciding to move back to the Champaign area in 2006, I started the band Cosmology and began the work of fusing all these things together. I think we are really getting there!

You play an array of instruments and all of them proficiently; tell us about all the instruments you play and where did you learn such a vast selection and why did you choose the type of instruments you play?

My father was a band director and fine clarinet player, so I grew up with music all around me. I started playing trumpet with his guidance at the age of 8 and gigs by 11. My home state of Michigan is very supportive of music, so I went through a strong school program in Alpena, and then got a music education degree from Central Michigan. Shortly after, I got a master's in performance from Michigan State, and then a teaching assistantship at U of I that first led me to Champaign. After that, I rediscovered my love for good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll and started playing a lot of guitar. It was so freeing, and a torrent of tunes poured out. For a few years, I literally had to just try to keep up with it all. I trusted the creative process to reveal the truth to me in time. Sometimes I write at the piano as well, and it's a different kind of song that comes out. I really enjoy a multitude of percussion instruments and like to dabble on the flute, too. Half-jokingly, I say it's the only woodwind instrument that won't mess up my trumpet chops.

Where can we find you on social media, and where is your next gig?

We have a domain, cosmology.rocks, that has live recordings of the band and a quickly growing fb group called CosmologyRocks if you want to get in touch. We've just finished a nice stretch of being featured at the City Center on "CI Living" (celebrating my 50th episode on the show), playing a Sounds at Sunset concert for the Champaign Park District and a Saturday night at Memphis on Main. Our Friday Night Live set got rained out last week, so hopefully, we'll be making that up soon. More to come after I take a much-needed summer vacation up north. Stay tuned!

What are your feelings on music and this particular music scene currently?

To me, music is the living force of the universe, thus the band name Cosmology. It is the thing that connects us all with vibrance, beauty, humor and love. The music is always going on if you can listen in the right way. I just try to join the celebration and serve in the way it comes through me. It is an awesome gift and responsibility. My goal in life is to share it in all the ways I can. I play many roles, manager of The Music Shoppe, trumpet performer/teacher, band leader and composer. The thread that runs through it all is the joy of music. It has been my pleasure to play with other bands on the scene such as the great Candy Foster and the Shades of Blue, and the brothers in the Tons O' Fun Band. So many friends and fellow travelers have I met here. From REO to the awesome bands we enjoy every day around town, it's an honor to be a part of such great history and talent. There are so many incredible musicians in the area. The other players in my band each in their own ways are a huge part of it. We are all very lucky. I'd encourage everybody to support the scene and enjoy as much fine music as you can!

Topics (1):Music