White played occasionally with Cecil Taylor while in his early 20s. He backed singer Nina Simone in 1960-61, then joined Dizzy Gillespie, with whom he played from 1962-66. He recorded with fellow Gillespie sideman saxophonist James Moody in 1963, and worked with pianist Billy Taylor in 1966. White has also played with Eubie Blake, Earl Hines, Chick Corea, Teddy Wilson, Kenny Barron, and Mary Lou Williams, among others. White has led his own group, The Jazz Survivors, and played with the cooperative ensemble Prism. He's also released a solo album, The Chris White Project. White has devoted much of his career to jazz education; he was the first Executive Director of New York City's Jazzmobile project and the first director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University. White also founded the MUSE jazz program at the Brooklyn Children's Museum. At this writing White was the Director of Music at Bloomfield College in New Jersey.