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He has performed at major jazz festivals and clubs in North America and Europe and played with jazz notables; Thad Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Foster, Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Jon Fadis, Regina Carter, James Carter, Betty Carter, Geri Allen, Bob Hurst, Kenny Garrett, Roy Brooks, Johnny O’Neil, Ralph Armstrong, Marcus Belgrave, Rodney Whitaker, Danny Spencer, Rick Margitza, Kim Nalley, Eula Lawrence, John Handy, Eddie Marshall, Madeline Eastman, Kitty Margolis, Bruce FormanMike Clark, Tim Hagans, Grover Washington Jr., Ronnie Cuber, Steve Slagel, Winard Harper, Marvin Stamm, Herb Geller, Yuron Israel, Charles Boles, Sam Sanders, Jaribu Shahid, Ralph Peterson, and Warren Gale. He also opened for Ornette Coleman and Art Blakey.

Entertainers Pitts has performed and/or recorded with include: Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Martha Reeves, Lou Rawls, Bob Hope, Liberace, Henny Youngman, Lyman Woodard, Enchantment, The Floaters, The Dramatics, and even President Bill Clinton, He has also opened for many acts including Dave Mason, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Ambrosia, and Don Mclean. Pitts performed with Boston based commercial groups including Soul Party, Clockwork, and Unity.

Pitts also founded the San Francisco based Contemporary Jazz Orchestra in 1995 and directed the band until 2000. He continues to guest with the band.

He is a recipient of composition and performance grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Michigan Council for the Arts, and the Detroit Council of the Arts. He was a staff instructor at Detroit Jazz Center and a Clinician at Metro Detroit Public schools. In the Boston area, Pitts has been filling in at Rivers and Harvey Finstein music schools. He also directed the Metropolitan Boston Youth Jazz Project, a group of gifted area students learning advanced jazz combo and big band  performance.

Detroit provided Pitts solid exposure to serious jazz artists such as saxophonists Sam Sanders, Donald Walden, Phil Lasley, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, pianists Kenn Cox and Charles Boles. Encouraged to lead his own groups, he formed the EMX with trumpeter James Van Dyke, pianist Kenn Cox, bassist Ed Pickens and drummer Danny Spencer (after Ed Pickens left the music business, the bass chair was subsequently held by young bassists Bob Hurst, Rodney Whitaker and Jaribu Shahid.) The group gained attention opening for Ornette Coleman and went on to perform at several National Jazz Festivals, concert venues and jazz clubs. He also gained big band experience in the band's of Ed Nuccilli, J.C Heard, Sam Sanders, Marcus Belgrave and Johnny Trudell.

Pitts studied privately with George Coleman in New York and Bill Pierce in Boston.

During the late 80s, Pitts began a second career as a Freelance Television Producer and Director while continuing to play music. Working with the likes of George Lucas and Tim Allen, his clients included Fortune 100 Companies and Foreign Television. He helped launch an educational channel for General Motors, producing over a hundred hours of finished programming.

He also Produced and Directed a series of half-hour documentaries, Jazz Masters: Keepers of the Flame which garnered several national awards and grants. While in San Francisco, Pitts produced numerous multimedia projects and co founded a multimedia production company; Cooperative Media Group. Focusing on eLearning, the company was renamed Coursenet Systems and eventually purchased by Technology Solutions Company. Pitts recently completed a large scale eLearning project for Monitor/Leverage Point.

Live events Pitts produced include several benefits : Jamedy, a six hour Jazz and Comedy benefit for the ACLU featuring comedians; Will Durst, Margret Cho, and musicians, John Handy, Joyce Cooling, Kitty Margolis, and Jazz for Greenpeace a series of 6 hour Annual benefits featuring over 50 jazz artists.

 

Steeped in Post Bop and Blues, Detroit Saxophonist, Chris Pitts made Manhattan, San Francisco and Paris, his homes before moving to Boston. His bands have always featured energetic rhythm sections and adventurous music.