by Mel Fenson with Betty B. Jones
Chris Putrino has become a well known entertainer in the Phoenix-Scottsdale metropolitan area’s music scene. Audiences are attracted to night clubs to listen to his intuitive song writing and performance style, which is a blending of the spirited essence of Santana and moody blues, flavored with smooth country, wistful love ballads and Latin jazz. It all comes together as a remarkable mixture of sounds.
On stage, Chris also sings standards, which range from Motown to top 40, reggae, rock and roll, Latin, blues and jazz. He performs both solo and with his Chris Putrino Band. Locally he is known as Chris Putrino, but he records his CD’s using his given name, Natale.
Chris is also a horse rancher. His Putrino Inspiration Ranch, in Rio Verde Foothills, about 20 miles north of Scottsdale in the heart of the beautiful Sonoran desert borders the picturesque McDowell Mountain Preserve and wildlife area. He said, “I was always interested in animals and I had always wanted to play music and have a ranch ever since I was a kid.” He used to ride neighbor’s horses bareback when he was young. He was also influenced by his uncle, who was a veterinarian and had once considered becoming a veterinarian. His ranch environment provides him with the inspiration and serenity to write his music, commune with nature and be with horses.
Chris has performed in clubs and concert venues throughout the country, including gigs in Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Texas, Portland, San Francisco, New York City and in several cities in Florida. It was while traveling and playing music that he ended up in Scottsdale. He is currently performing every Saturday night at Scottsdale’s Rare Earth Wine Bar.
Chris’ interest in music started at an early age. He began playing in clubs with his older cousins when he was only 14 years old and he has been involved in music his entire life. He studied music at Los Angeles City College and at the State University of New York. He was originally from Endicott in upstate New York.
He had attended Los Angeles City College on a baseball scholarship. He said he chose to enroll there, “because if you played baseball there you had the opportunity to go the pros to play baseball or to UCLA or USC on a full scholarship - and they had a great music program.” He had also been offered a music scholarship to Miami University. He played short stop in college baseball until he was injured, but he always continued to play music, then decided that music was going to be his main focus.
His college studies were interrupted by an opportunity to go on road tours, playing backup for some nationally known jazz performers, among which was Charlie Byrd, a famous classical guitarist. Chris said he learned a lot about music from Mario Darpino, who was Charlie’s flute player.
His first CD, Natale, which showcases his own original songs, was recorded by Sonic Fish a Scottsdale recording studio. He describes his lyrics as having been drawn, “from my experiences with love, life, and relationships with people, and my connection to the universe.”
Chris is backed up on the CD by his band, whch includes, Tony Putrino on accordion and keyboards; Dan Doiron on bass; Ken Mary on drums; Joe Garcia on percussion; and Suzy Richman and Diana Lee doing background vocals.
Song titles on the CD include: Marguerite, Harvest Moon, Come Back, A Look in Your Eyes, True Love, and Maria.
As his popularity grows, Chris continues to write music and perform his songs live on stage, and care for the wonderful horses on his ranch.
Natale CD may be ordered directly from Chris at: