Chris Dave has been a busy and remarkably versatile professional drummer since his late teens. His work as a performing and recording musician has spanned the genres of R&B, jazz, gospel, and pop, with inspirations ranging from jazz giants such as Jack DeJohnette and Jeff "Tain" Watts to maverick hip-hop producer J Dilla. A Houston, Texas native, Dave started playing percussion as a youngster in church and quickly became intensely focused on developing his ability. As a teenager, he supported gospel choirs and singers such as Yolanda Adams and Kim Burrell. His earliest formal credit is likely on Gospel Music Workshop of America's 1989 album Live in St. Louis. After Dave graduated from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in his hometown, he attended Howard University on a full scholarship, but an encounter with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis at a Mint Condition gig led to Dave joining that band on tour and pursuing music full-time.