Chris Anderson

  • Director, Oberlin Jazz Ensemble

Areas of Study


  • BA, Baldwin Wallace University
  • MA, University of Akron


Chris Anderson is the founder of Open Tone Music, a nonprofit organization that provides access to premier music education and performance programming for all people. Through Open Tone Music, he has reached thousands of individuals in the northern Ohio area.

In addition to his work in music education, Anderson composes and performs many different styles of music. He has performed trombone with prominent musicians across genres including classical, jazz, gospel, and Latin. Among those with whom he has collaborated are Clark Terry, John Fedchock, Jiggs Whigham, Jon Faddis, Nancy Wilson, Frank Wess, Louie Bellson, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Barry Manilow, Bobby Caldwell, and the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Band featuring Slide Hampton, Phil Woods, and Antonio Hart.

Anderson has been heard on national and international radio and television including WCPN, BET, and HBO, and he has enjoyed success in numerous local and national competitions. He is in demand as a clinician conducting music workshops for individuals of all ages throughout the United States and abroad.

Fall 2024

Beginning Improvisation — APST 142
Jazz Ensemble - Large Group — JAZZ 700
Jazz Ensemble - Small Group — JAZZ 803

Spring 2025

Beginning Improvisation — APST 142
Jazz Ensemble - Large Group — JAZZ 700
Jazz Ensemble - Small Group — JAZZ 803


Jazz Faculty Chris Anderson Honored by Jazz Journalists Association

April 25, 2024

Chris Anderson, director of the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble Director and a performing jazz trombonist has been named a 2024 Jazz Hero by the Jazz Journalists Association for his work as founder and executive director of Open Tone Music. The Akron-based nonprofit has provided access to free music education for young people throughout Northeast Ohio for 14 years. Anderson sees himself as an artist and an educator involved in the African diaspora that is global in scope. Open Tone Music connects Northeast Ohio students in grades K-12, most of whom are Black and brown, with other youth and teaching artists from Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Colombia.