Greenport resident wins Jimi Hendrix Guitar Competition

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02/17/2014 4:00 PM |
Chris Krasnow playing guitar. (Courtesy photo)

Chris Krasnow playing guitar. (Courtesy photo)

Greenport part-time resident Chris Krasnow has won first place in the national Jimi Hendrix Guitar Competition after producing a music video of himself covering a Hendrix song while playing multiple instruments in his parent’s basement.

The competition’s top prize includes a chance for Mr. Krasnow, 21, to perform at the Experience Hendrix 2014 Tour. He’ll share the stage with several top musicians, including Billy Cox, Buddy Guy and Bootsy Collins.

Mr. Krasnow, who lives in Manhattan and is a senior studying jazz trombone at SUNY/Purchase College, made his Hendrix Crosstown Traffic cover song during winter break. In the video, Mr. Krasnow plays trombone, drums, bass and guitar and his friend, Juliette Trapani, sang vocals.

“I knew everyone would just perform a Jimi Hendrix guitar solo,” he said. “I wanted to do something different.”

In addition to his solo work, Mr. Krasnow also performs with Sister Helen in New York City, and Citris at his college.

He started playing piano at age five and moved on to playing trombone in middle school. Mr. Krasnow taught himself how to play guitar and was selected to participate in a competitive middle school jazz program at Lincoln center, his parents said.

Mr. Krasnow’s father, Peter, an architect that built his family’s house in 1985, described his son’s achievement as “a great honor.”

“We knew his passion was music,” Peter Krasnow said. “He’s doing it from the heart.”

Christopher’s mother, Christine Cerny, who’s also a musician, said she’s most excited about her son performing in the upcoming Experience Hendrix concert.

“He picked up on music and music theory at a very young age,” she said. “His love is music.”

Mr. Krasnow described the competition as a great experience and plans to continue performing, as well as recording music in Greenport, where he turned his parents’ basement into a professional studio.

“I didn’t have any negative thoughts about the competition,” he said. “I did what I could to the best of my ability.”

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