Che Chen is a multi-instrumentalist based in Queens, NY. Born in 1978 to Taiwanese immigrant parents, he grew up in the suburbs of Washington DC and played in bands before going to art school to study painting, printmaking and sculpture. Drawn back to the social and collaborative aspects of music making, he has been an energetic presence in New York City’s experimental underground, as a band leader, improviser and show organizer, since the early 2000s.
In 2012, he and percussionist Rick Brown formed 75 Dollar Bill, in which he plays electric guitar. Though primarily a self-taught musician, Chen took a two week crash course in the Moorish modal system with Jeich Ould Chigaly in Nouakchott, Mauritania in 2013, an experience to which his approach to guitar is deeply indebted. Something of a “non-specialist”, he also performs and records on violin, contrabass, woodwinds, percussion and tape-based devices. He organizes the monthly concert series Fire Over Heaven at Outpost Artist Resources in Ridgewood, as well as shows at other DIY venues throughout the city.