Chris Pitsiokos (b. 1990) is a saxophonist and composer based in Brooklyn, NY. Aesthetically, his work combines the lyricism of jazz and the go-for-broke intensity of extreme rock forms and noise with the attention to detail and abstraction of contemporary classical music. His compositions often function as a platform for performers to express a singular aesthetic vision without subjugating their individual voices as creative agents in their own right. In this way his work contrasts with more traditional modes of composition in which the composer or band leader is the sole, or primary arbiter, of a unified vision. He has been praised by Rolling Stone for his “startlingly original vision” and “astonishingly fleet sax work.” Pitsiokos has worked with Tyshawn Sorey, Peter Evans, Joe Morris, Philip White, Otomo Yoshihide, C Spencer Yeh, Nate Wooley, Brandon Seabrook, Lydia Lunch, Paul Lytton, Miya Masaoka, Mick Barr, Susana Santos Silva, and many more. He is currently the saxophonist in Nate Wooley’s quartet, Knknighgh. He has toured throughout Europe, the United States, and Japan. He was a contributor to Arcana VIII, a book of essays edited by John Zorn, and was a resident at Zorn’s club the Stone in November 2016. In addition to performing and composing music, Pitsiokos was a longtime DJ at radio station WKCR-FM and has been producing concerts in Brooklyn and Manhattan for five years. 

PRESS

"Whether in the hands of Charlie Parker, Ornette Coleman or John Zorn, the alto saxophone has long been an instrument of radical change in jazz. The influence of all three giants is audible in the work of young NYC altoist Chris Pitsiokos, but on this harsh yet revelatory quartet album [...] he puts forth his own startlingly original vision. [...] move from hyperactive freeform scramble to viselike compositional precision [...] herky-jerky punk-funk outfit's bent take on prog. Throughout the record, the leader's astonishingly fleet sax work – sometimes darting and soulful, sometimes squalling and unhinged – explodes with urgency and feverish invention.
--Hank Shteamer for Rolling Stone

"Pinpoint precision and unhinged fury...go-for-broke intensity...dazzling array of tactics...From piece to piece he shows an expanding range that accommodates both tender phrasing and a lacerating tone."
-Chicago Reader

"Ecstatic, complex, punk-infused extreme-jazz...A tireless composer and improviser, Pitsiokos’s mushrooming catalog contains nods to both the bebop swing and the ’80s electric jazz of Ornette Coleman. There are also traces of John Zorn’s full-scale eclecticism, Peter Brötzmann’s gale-force heft, the nihilistic noise of Lydia Lunch, and The Flying Luttenbachers’ “brutal prog.” It’s no wonder the 20-something-year-old Pitsiokos has helped spearhead the nascent movement of fellow outliers shaping Brooklyn’s jazz underground."
-Bandcamp Daily

"It’s very difficult to do justice, using words, to how enervating and annihilating this set was" and "pure face-ripping of the highest order"
-the Village Voice