Percussionist Chris Paquette and I met recently during a photoshoot for the new recording studio On The Moon owned by Blah Blah Blah bassist Stico von Drake. Stico and I have been friends for a long time so luckily I trusted him when he told me he was sending a neighbor of mine that I did not yet know to pick me up for the photoshoot. Little did I know that I was about to meet one of the most bad ass percussionists in Pilsen!
Chris Paquette moved to Chicago from the Twin Cities in 2001 and lived in the UK Village/ Humbolt Park area until recently moving to Pilsen. Drawn to our neck of the woods for the low rent and strong art community I am proud to call to this guy my neighbor and not just because we have the same initials. The first thing you notice about Chris other than the fact that he's a "ginger" is that he has one of the most laid back personalities you'll ever met. Other than being cool with picking up some random girl (moi) and giving me a ride to the photoshoot there was never a moment of awkward silence during our commute. We clicked instantly and jammed all the way to Beecher, IL (wherever the hell that is/was) to his amazing music collection and talked about music, life and of course Pilsen.
I met up with Chris again to interview him for La Princesa de Pilsen at his vintage rehabbed Pilsen apartment. Paquette's place is a music lover's heaven and is jammed packed with drums and noise makers galore! The 27 year old drummer has a drum list that includes surdos, congas, djembes, timbales, djun djuns, bodhran and a gorgeous Nigerian udu. Contrary to popular belief however, his first instrument was actually the alto saxaphone. His mom sings in a gospel choir back in Minneapolis so he orginally began playing drums with her church choir.
In high school Chris began learning percussion from Marocs "Chico" Perez and then later moved to Chicago to study at Colombia and his career took off from there. Agent-free Paquette is a true testiment to what an independent artist can accomplish making 100% of his income from being a musician. He attributes his success to "handing out millions of business cards"
Lucky for you he is now offering classes and workshops so you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Filed under: Music
Tags: Animate Objects, Anthony Hamilton, Christ Paquette surdos congona djembes timbales djun djuns bodhran udu drums percussion PilsenThe Manhattan Project, Dizu Plaajtes (Curator of traditional African music at Cape Town University), Eric Roberson, Estelle, Frank Catalano, George Clinton, Glenn Lewis, Khari Lemuel, Koku Gonza, Obi Soulstar, Roy Ayers Chico DeBarge, The BSTC (Back Stone Theatre Collective), The Chicago Afro Beat Project, Willie Pickens, Yaw, Zzaje