Chuck Israels

Chuck Israels

Chuck Israels is a composer/arranger/bassist who has worked with Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock, J.J. Johnson, John Coltrane, and many others. He is best known for his work with the Bill Evans Trio from 1961 through 1966 and for his pioneering accomplishments in Jazz Repertory as Director of the National Jazz Ensemble from 1973 to 1981. He directed the jazz studies program at Western Washington University from 1986 to 2009 when he retired from that position and moved to Portland, OR, to return to full time professional musical life forming the Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra.

Chuck has been a guest composer/director with various European jazz ensembles and orchestras as well as a frequent performer with the Barry Harris Trio. "The Eindhoven Concert," a CD of Chuck's compositions and arrangements, played by the Metropole Orchestra under Chuck's direction, with trumpet soloist Claudio Roditi, has been released on Azica Recordings. Mood Records has released a concert of Chuck's compositions and arrangements played by the Hannover Philharmonic Orchestra under his direction, and Chiaroscuro Records has released historic National Jazz Ensemble recordings on CD.  Second Wind, the first recording of the Chuck Israels Jazz Orchestra has been released on Soul Patch Records.  Garden of Delights, and Concerto Peligroso, the most recent CIJO recordings have been released on the Dot Time label.

Among Chuck's many recordings as a bassist, some outstanding ones include: Coltrane Time, with John Coltrane; My Point of View, with Herbie Hancock; Getz au Go-Go, with Stan Getz; and many recordings with the Bill Evans Trio, including The Town Hall Concert; The Second Trio; Trio '65; Live at the Trident; Time Remembered; and Live at Shelley's Manne Hole.

Awards and Honors: CAPS Composition Grant; National Endowment for the Arts Composition Grants: Crofts Fellowship in Music Composition, Tanglewood

More information - photos, videos, music and reviews can be found at

Picture by John Meloy 

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