Chris Klein
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Chris Klein

Band Blues Jazz


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"DESIRE" (1999)




The Boulevards readily acknowledges their illustrious musical progenitors, most of whom were popular before the members of the band were even born. In a quote from the June 2000 issue of New Orleans’ Offbeat magazine, Klein says “My band fits into the blues/jazz realm” but the review of his second CD, Desire, goes on to say “He’s being modest. His band more than just ‘fits’ into the jazz/blues genre; it helps define it.”

Since the December 1997 release of Might The Boulevards Swing, the group’s first CD, Klein has been determinedly ascending the ladder toward the fame and recognition he craves and deserves. A Crescent City native and Jesuit High School graduate, Klein attributes his skills to the “musical osmosis” that intoxicates many New Orleanians at an early age. The city’s multiplicity of musical styles and influences, according to Klein, “creates a society that is inadvertently very musically aware. This is a city with good taste built in.”

Klein moved to Colorado at the age of 20 where he honed his musical skills with the other three musicians who backed him on his two discs – Dave Solzberg on bass, Dan Freedman on guitar and George deCaro on drums (Bob Miron shared guitar duties on Desire). When he returned to the Big Easy in 1999, Klein was ready to take his rightful place in the city’s jazz and blues fraternity. There he slimmed down the personnel to a trio with drums and organ. The drummer, James Clark, a longtime member of “Casa Samba” - a New Orleans-based samba school – and veteran to many eclectic local bands, along with organist Rik Fletcher, who graduated under the tutelage of Ellis Marsalis at the acclaimed University of New Orleans School of Music, added the third element to the Boulevards. The beauty and polyrhythmic intensity of latin music and the indigenous funk that permeates through the city would now find its place in the music of the Boulevards.

The Offbeat review of The Boulevards’ second CD goes on to say that Klein “doesn’t seem the least bit worried about being called a ‘jack of all trades and an ace at none,’ nor does he have any reason to worry.” He plays all of his instruments “with equal mastery and dexterity.” Klein calls it “cross-training.” Each instrument he masters makes him better on all of the others. His singing style is an eclectic mix of several of the genre’s great blues artists and jazz impressionists. He is a talented songwriter whose lyrics warn about the dangers of an overindulgent lifestyle (“Gonna Get High”) and living life in the fast lane (“Living Dangerously”). But his songs can be upbeat as well, touting the life of a musician (“The Close of Night”) and the importance of having a supportive woman (“For Men Only”). In addition to Offbeat, The Boulevards have captured good reviews in the Colorado Blues Society’s Holler magazine and Boston’s Weekly Dig.

Since his return to the Crescent City, Klein and The Boulevards have kept a very busy schedule. He has played JazzFest as a member of the “Winds of Change” sax ensemble with Sheik Rasheed, along with gigs at the House of Blues, Donna’s, The Columns, d.b.a., the Spotted Cat, the Red Room, Vic’s Kangaroo Cafe and elsewhere around town. The band also performed on Louisiana Jukebox Live – a national television show that, for two years running, has won an ACE award for best local music show in the nation. Check local listings for his upcoming engagements and check out the record stores for his CDs (P.S. a new one is on the way!). This young man has a great musical future ahead of him!!

Dean M. Shapiro
Freelance Music Writer
New Orleans, LA


Chris Klein – Harmonica, Flute, Tenor Saxophone, Vocals, Lyrics & Music

While attending Jesuit High School in his native city of New Orleans, Chris Klein joined a “garage band” with a few of his classmates who were looking for a lead singer. With no formal training or experience beyond his God-given natural abilities, he put forth his best efforts. However, the band’s music was not to his taste and they parted company after only a few months.

His musical career could have ended there, were it not for a fortuitous turn of events. During Klein’s brief stay with the band, a few barely-in-tune harmonicas were passed his way. These unwanted instruments fell into the right hands and thus began a love affair that continues to this day. He began practicing on them, studying the styles of the great “harp masters” and learning the basics, as well as the various nuances that could be coaxed out of the versatile mouth instrument. Over time, his understanding of the many styles of harp-playing grew to include its most frequently utilized blues style but it soon expanded beyond that realm into jazz. There, as well as in the blues, Klein found his musical niche.

At the age of 20, he moved to Colorado and a new stage of his career began. He was given a flute by a friend and fellow