Born in Rochester, New York, Chris "Kazz" Caswell grew up surrounded by music. Living in a household that loved big band music, and jazz, he gravitated towards the keys. A man of many talents, but it all started with the accordion. At the ripe age of 16, Chris expanded his musical skills and took to kicking the pedals of the b3 organ at local jazz joints. After playing a multitude of keyboards throughout high school, Chris attended the 'Arrangers Holiday' program at the Eastman School of Music. Not long after, he made the move across the country to Los Angeles. Like many other musicians, Chris started out playing gigs in local spots, however his services as a musician, orchestrator, and arranger were quickly utilized.
Kazz is also renowned as a lyricist in classic jazz, helping pen words to compositions by the likes of Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, Nat Adderley and Dizzy Gillespie, all of which have been performed by Karrin Allyson, among others. A master of multiple genres, his symphony and suite have debuted at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and he has also served as the guest conductor for the London Philharmonic, the Tonight Show Orchestra, and the Boston Pops among others. His work as a lyricist and composer has been touted by songwriting legends ranging from Mike Stoller and Hal David to Alan & Marilyn Bergman, along with Bret McKenzie, Daft Punk, and Paul Williams. Aside from his musical talents, everyone Chris has worked with has noted how easy he is to collaborate with.
In 2014, Chris took the stage at the Grammys as Musical Director with Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers and Daft Punk for their performance of “Get Lucky” from Random Access Memories. The album won Album of the Year, Best Dance/Electronica Album, and Best Engineered Album, sweeping all categories in which they were nominated. Caswell was an integral part of Random Access Memories, co-writing two of its tracks (“Touch” and “Beyond”), and serving as an arranger, orchestrator, and keyboard player.
The Daft Punk collaboration is just one of many for Caswell, who has arranged and played keyboards, bass/bass pedals, accordion and guitar with artists ranging from Smokey Robinson, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Chris Mann, Natasha Bedingfield and Matisyahu to Bill Withers and Jason Mraz. He's also made life long friends with Kermit the Frog and the rest of the muppet crew, contributing to Disney's The Muppets, The Muppets Most Wanted, and the Muppet Christmas Carol, which he received a Grammy nomination for.
With all of his life experiences and incredible roster of established artist he's shared the stage with, his true inspiration comes from his family. It is with their unwavering support and overpowering love that Kazz has the genuine sound of heart and soul in his music.