Chris Hazelton's Boogaloo 7
The first time Chris Hazelton experienced a real Hammond B-3 organ, he knew instantly that it was the instrument he was destined to play. At the request of his college professor, the then-underage aspiring musician snuck into a dark Kansas City jazz club called Bobby’s Hangout to hear the man behind the console, jazz organ master Everette DeVan. After several weeks of coaxing, Mr. DeVan agreed to take Chris on a student, showing him the ins and outs of the complex machine. With a background in string bass and piano, Chris’ transfer to organ was a natural one.
His flagship ensemble, Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7, was assembled in 2013 and held a nearly 6-year residency every Friday night at Kansas City’s Green Lady Lounge. This seven piece unit focuses on funky, rhythmic soul-jazz that harkens back to the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, a time when Lou Donaldson, Jimmy McGriff, Charles Earland, Grant Green, Lonnie Smith, and a host of others packed dance floors and venues along the “Chitlin Circuit”. The Boogaloo 7 has released two 45 rpm 7-inch vinyl singles and two full-length LPs on Sunflower Soul Records, a label established by Hazelton in 2014 that produces soulful recordings with unashamedly old-school, analog vibe.
For nearly 10 years, Chris served as the organist at “The Historic” Centennial United Methodist Church in the 18th & Vine Jazz District of Kansas City, MO - a church that was once home to Count Basie and Charlie Parker. He is happily married to the love of his life, Erica, and together have a 2-year old daughter named Evelyn and 1-month old son named Jaxon.