Visual and Performing Arts

Chris Gaona

Chris Gaona

Private Lesson Instructor


Well-rounded drummer Chris Gaona is a near native of Colorado Springs, CO.  He earned a degree in percussion performance from the University of Colorado in Boulder while studying under Doug Walter and Chris Hanning.  He later returned to CU Boulder for extensive studies in jazz pedagogy with Dr. John Davis, the former Director of Jazz Studies. Chris retired from the Air Force Academy Band where he had the pleasure of performing and recording with several music ensembles including the Falconaires Jazz Ensemble, the rock band Blue Steel, the country band Wild Blue Country, and the Concert Band.  

During his tenure with the Falconaires, he had the privilege of performing with Sammy Nestico, The New York Voices, John Hollenbeck, Shelly Berg, Jon Hendricks, Frank Mantooth, Diane Schuur, Norm Leyden, and composer Chie Imaizumi.  In addition to drumming with the Falconaires, Chris was selected as the group's leader where he directed them in performing the premier of Chie Imaizumi's work Sharing The Freedom at the Monterrey Jazz Festival.   

In addition to his work in the Air Force, Chris has led the musical worship at his local church for the past nine years.  His responsibilities there include selecting and rehearsing the music as well as playing the drums and singing.    Other highlights to Chris's career include performances with the Colorado Ballet and the Colorado Springs Symphony (now known as the Colorado Springs Philharmonic) as well as performances at Carnegie Hall, the Grand Ole Opry and the Clearwater Jazz Festival.   

Chris is a well-versed musician with a comprehensive knowledge of a wide variety of musical styles and genres.  He has a passion for good time and good grooves and loves to make music in an assortment of settings.