Skip to Main Content
main page header

Herb Alpert Music Center

Christopher Payne

Christopher Payne is a multi-faceted percussionist, whose breadth of musicianship extends from classical to contemporary music, to world, jazz, hip-hop and funk. Chris, originally from Philadelphia, PA, received a B.M. in classical percussion from the University of North Carolina and a MFA in Percussion and Drum Set Performance from The California Institute of the Arts. He has had the opportunity to study and play with world-renown musicians such as Randy Gloss, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Joe LaBarbara, Houman Pourmehdi, David Johnson, Charlie Haden, Alfred Ladzekpo, David Roitstein, Chris Brubeck, Aaron Serfaty, Slide Hampton, Guello, Joe Nero and Mike Salbo. Chris’ suite of expertise ranges from folkloric hand percussion, classical batterie, to traditional drum set repertoire. Such instruments include pandeiro, kanjira, tabla, djembe, congas, timbales, cajon, frame drums, drum set, and mallet percussion. Chris’ versatility and experience allows him to be creative and supportive to most musical situations, whether it is playing percussion in a salsa band or Brazilian batucada, marimba for a Steve Reich ensemble, or drum set for various theater, pop, jazz, and rock groups. During Chris’s tours throughout North America he has been billed with Galactic, Widespread Panic, The Motet, Garaj Mahal, Ike Willis, Les Claypool, Keller Williams, Medeski Martin and Wood, The Avett Brothers, and Railroad Earth. Christopher has toured with the Grammy awarded band DeVotchKa, and has performed with Mike Garson (David Bowie), Jim Walker, and Bob Sheppard, among others. Currently Mr. Payne performs with the Multi Ethnic Star Orchestra (MESTO),  Mahadev, the Jon Armstrong Jazz Orchestra, John Macy and the Heavy Hand, and Con Piquete. Chris is known for his ability to create eclectic percussion set-ups that fit any traditional, contemporary, or popular genre. Chris currently resides in Los Angeles where he focuses on performing, teaching, and composing an array of musical styles. 

 Contact Us

Herb Alpert Music Center 106
(323) 953-4000 ext. 2880

Christine Park
Department Chair

Caroline Reyes
Instructional Assistant

Leon Thomasian
Instructional Assistant


Mailing Address:

Department of Music
Los Angeles City College
Herb Alpert Music Center
855 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90029

Like us on facebook!

Los Angeles City College | 855 N. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles California 90029


Phone: 323.953.4000


Emergency: 323.953.2911