Chris Rutkowski

Composer | Pianist








Film Scores

Jazz and Standards


Photo Gallery



Luna Media



Photo Gallery



Some shots of the IPFW Faculty Jazz Combo in concert in the Rhinehart Redital Hall on campus. Top: A Facebook post from an audience member (3/18/13). Bottom: Fall 2013







Chris Rutkowski perfroming with renowned jazz and classical trumpeter Allen Vizzutti at IPFW on February 10, 2012 (photo: Elmer Denman)







A screen shot in 2011 of one of the slides on the Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne website welcome page. It depicts Chris Rutkowski, Clinical Assistant Professor of Music Composition and Technology, and Director of the IPFW/Sweetwater Music Technology Program instructing an audio recording class in the master control room. The D-Command console of the Avid Pro Tools HD3 rig is displayed.


















In the summer of 2008, I recorded 13 tracks with Heather Ramsay, an excellent jazz singer who is at the beginning of what surely will be a terrific career. The CD, So Many Stars was released at the Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis in November, 08. In addition to having a great voice and technique, Heather has an impressive stylistic range. The session included barn-burners like "Avalon", swingers like Ellington's "Love You Madly", R & B classics like Stevie Wonder's early hit (and Barack Obama theme song) "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" and Brazilian pieces like "Mas Que Nada" and "So Many Stars".

Also featured on the session were first-call Indiana legends bassist Frank Smith, drummer Kenny Phelps, and saxophonist Tom Walsh-who flat-out smoked! The studio was Airtime, nestled in the hills of Bloomington, IN. In addition to the expert engineering, Airtime is blessed with one of the finest pianos anywhere, a 7' 4" Yamaha Conservatory Grand, immaculately maintained.













On March 25, 2008, the Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble received its first premier from the Wind Ensemble of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. The soloist was Thomas Walsh, the commission coordinator. Stephen Pratt led the excellent ensemble in a terrific performance of the piece, all the more impressive given the very ambitious program, and the fact that the last movement was only seen by the group a week before the concert. Peter Jacobi, classical music critic of the Bloomington Herald Times reviewed the performance.

The Concerto will receive individual premiers by the other members of the consortium in the fall of 2008.













On November 3 and 4, 2006, after performances of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra at their home, the Hilbert Circle Theater, my first piece for saxophone quartet, Dervish, was performed as part of both the ISO's Encore with Mario and the Spirit and Place Festival series. The presentation was inspiring, with the audience sitting on stage in the orchestra's chairs. ISO Music Director Mario Venzago led a sprited discussion on spirituality in music revolving around my piece, which is based on music of the Whirling Dervishes, who are Sufi priests, and thus entirely relevant to the topic. The audience posed fascinating questions, and the Indianapolis Saxophone Quartet played brilliantly. Led by Indiana University professors Thomas Walsh and Otis Murphy, they have performed the piece many times over the years, and recorded it in Bloomington for one of Tom's upcoming CDs in between the performances.









From 2003 through 2006, I had a studio in the Wheeler Arts Community building in the Fountain Square area of Indianapolis. The Wheeler building is an old factory that has been given the loft treatment, and is a remarkable partnership between Southeast Neighborhood Development, Inc. (S.E.N.D.) and the University of Indianapolis. It houses several university offices, a wonderful theater space (with excellent acoustics-I presented a concert of the Contemporary Music Group there)-as well as providing about 30 studio residences for artists.

The studios feature huge windows and high ceilings, and, as you can see in this picture of my office, have an inherent aura of creativity. The design features an inspired blend of the old and reconstructed (iron rods poke out of the ceiling and the wooden floors are original), new (the windows look original, but they're brand new), and building materials which are usually considered modest but are prominently featured (e.g., plywood). On the top of the building is a computer-controlled light sculpture constructed of parallel blue neon tubes, which is visible from the nearby Interstate 65. The Wheeler was designed by the Indianapolis firm, Axis Architecture + Interiors. (Click on this link to see what the Wheeler looked like before renovation!)




There is a creative spontaneity that comes from being among folks who are living the life. One day I came to the studio and found this massive red sphere outside my door. I find this to be very stimulating.

Behind the globe is the original freight elevator, which elicited endless fascination from visitors, ranging from a group of nine visiting students from Japan, to my two kids.


Every month, the Wheeler participates in IDADA's (Indianapolis Downtown Artist and Dealers Association) "First Friday" gallery tour. In addition, there is an open house twice yearly, that draws an enthusiastic crowd from across the city. At the April, 2005 Open House, I hired a bass player, my old friend from Bloomington John Huber, and we played jazz in the Atrium-one of the most enjoyable gigs I've had for a while-with good acoustics, and a sympathetic audience of fellow artists and patrons willing to hear the music of Wayne Shorter and Thelonius Monk.




Back to Top



The quality of the work done by the resident artists at the Wheeler is top notch. At left is an example of the cartoon work of Josh Johnson


Lars Jonker works in a wide variety of media, from sculpture to furniture, using metal and stone.



William Lawson paints scenes from the urban environment of Fountain Square-a mile from downtown, yet curiously rural at the same time.

Susan Hodgin uses flowers as frequent subjects.



Allison Kurtz uses many varied techniques to manipulate and transform photographic images

I became rather active in the artistic life of Fountain Square, and was a founding member of Art in the Square/Fountain Square Artists Cooperative. Check out the Art in the Square link to see how much was happening there!


The Fountain Square Theater






Back to Top
































Home Biography Music News Reviews Recordings Film Scores Jazz and Standards Catalog Photo Gallery Blog Contact Luna Media Links Contemporary