Christopher Marsceill (aka Rev Chris) was born in Boston and raised in Philadelphia where he was introduced to jazz from his second teacher, Eric Spiegel. Eric was a Philadelphia pianist and vocalist who made a full recovering following a car accident and was one of the reasons that Jazz Bridge was originally created. Following 4 years as the pianist in the first Settlement Music School Jazz Ensemble he made his way to New Orleans where he studied under Mike Pellera, Ellis Marsalis, Peter Martin eventually being mentored by Joe Krown on the ways of boogie-woogie and Professor Longhair style blues.
Next was a string of successful tours with the Ted Hefko Quartet and New Orleans Juice and then he joined Russel Batiste (the funky Meters), Ian Neville (Dumpstafunk) and Nori Noraoka in Bill Iuso's "Brides of Jesus". With "Brides" he opened for, or played with, Widespread Panic, Ani DiFranco, Blueground Undergrass, Santana and the Dave Matthews Band as part of the jam-band movement of the early 2000s. While not on the road he spent his off time performing in the French Quarter with the Bradford Truby Trio, the Dukes of Dixieland, St. Louis Slim, James Andrews (Trombone Shorty's older brother) and was one of the rotating members of Preservation Hall Jazz Band on call when the main band was on tour. He can also be found on bootleg recordings by Meters bassist George Porter (as one of his "Runnin' Pahdners"). He also spent time on keyboards and drum programmer for the No Limit Records act "Who is Kenny Hagins?". When Russell left the Brides of Jesus they added jazz drummer Brian Besse and members of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and rebranded themselves the "Restless Natives"
Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 he relocated to Philadelphia where he has performed solo weekly since 2007 at Tavern on the Hill in Chestnut Hill in addition to numerous gigs a throughout the week. In 2013 he formed a Drums N Keys duo that became a trio, a quartet and eventually the quintet he currently calls his "home". Occasionally the ensemble becomes a sextet when they perform the re-imagining of Miles Davis's classic "Kind of Blue" album, commissioned by the Wallingford Community Arts Center in 2019 and arranged by Rev and trumpeter Bart Miltenberger.
His ensemble focuses mostly on original music written by Rev but he can also be found on stage with local outlaw-country act Emmett Drueding and singer-songwriter Daisy Royce doing a tribute to the music of Walt Disney. He has appeared on “Series of Two Week Love Stories” by singer-songwriter Daisy Royce, “A Proper Record” by multi-instrumentalist David Cope, “Yours, Kors” by Brian Kors, “Beautiful Day” by Humbleman Band, “Lucky Girl” by Mighty Rhythm Kings and Paul Downie along with about a half dozen albums recorded during his time in New Orleans.
In 2018 Rev C released his ninth album as a leader, The End of Love, that is also his third album of solo piano. Recorded at Rittenhouse Soundworks he moves away from original compositions and instead showcases his own re-arrangements of songs by Prince, Leonard Cohen, the Beatles, Tom Tallitsch, Fats Waller and 90s alt-rockers Blind Melon. His tenth album, a live performance featuring the sextet was released in August of 2019.
In the fall of 2019 saw the debut of a new trio, Trio Jawn, with drummer Miles Ziskind and bassist Ray Bailey.
2020 has been a strange year for multiple reasons. Most of the COVID-19 caused quarantine the Rev recorded and self-released multiple singles on the online platform, Bandcamp in addition to hosting streaming performances via Facebook and Instagram LIVE. Inspired by quarantine regulations he founded a "non-traditional" band, Curbside Quartet, a pop-up concept that requires no electricity and no booking agents. The Curbside Quartet is made up of Rev on melodica/vocals, Daisy Royce on ukelele/vocals, Flourtown Fats on tuba and percussionist Tony Green on washboard.
Event Venue & Nearby Stays
Cosmic Cafe & Catering, 1 Boathouse Row, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Philadelphia, United States