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Purchase Senior Wins Experience Hendrix Competition

Congratulations to Conservatory of Music senior Chris Krasnow who was selected overall winner to perform with the Experience Hendrix Tour this spring.

When Experience Hendrix, the official family company charged with managing the name, likeness, image and 100 percent of the music of Jimi Hendrix's legacy, announced an inaugural guitar competition in 2013, thousands of musicians around the world responded. The stakes were high: A chance to win a performing slot on the annual Experience Hendrix tribute tour, set to roll in March 2014, along with a slew of cash and other prizes. The rules were simple. Entrants were asked to submit a video that shows themselves performing a Hendrix track.

The team of judges, charged with selecting a single winner, included Janie Hendrix, Jimi's sister and Experience Hendrix CEO, and legendary engineer/producer Eddie Kramer, who worked with Hendrix at the very start of his recording career in London, and, later at Woodstock, among other renowned artists and guitar aficionados. The judges were looking for the video that showed "the most Hendrix-like guitar playing."

So, how did Chris Krasnow feel when he found out he won? "Talenthouse, the group that coordinated the competition with Experience Hendrix, just made the official announcement a few days ago. The awesomeness is still settling. The coolest part is that I'm going to get to play on one of the Experience Hendrix tour dates with someone like Buddy Guy, or Bootsy Collins, or Dweezil Zappa," Krasnow says. "There are like 14 different artists in different cities on different dates, and they haven't told me yet which show I'll be doing… so, that's going to be another great big piece of energy and excitement."

Krasnow, who grew up in New York City and attended LaGuardia High School, started playing classical piano at age five. He later shifted to trombone, but by high school was also playing guitar and experimenting with studio production gear. His studies at Purchase focus on jazz trombone performance, but Krasnow remains active as a guitarist for a NYC band he started in high school, known as Sister Helen, as well as a band called Citris made up of Purchase students. "I'm also really into the whole studio production area," Krasnow says.

As a gifted, experienced, and versatile musician in high school, Krasnow said he knew he wanted to study jazz, and that Purchase was the obvious choice. "I feel lucky for the choice to have been so easy. When a college has a serious jazz studies program with faculty like Todd Coolman and Jon Faddis—and probably a dozen other names I recognized, even in high school—that's the school where I want to study."

Conservatory of Music studio composition junior Itamar Gov-Ari also entered the contest and was right behind Krasnow as one of only five runners-up.

To see Chris Krasnow's video (featuring Krasnow on guitar, drums, and trombone, with friend Juliette Trapani on vocals), visit Experience Hendrix

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