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Kris Bowers

Kris Bowers, a native of Los Angeles, began studying piano privately at the age of nine. Beginning his formal lessons in classical music, Kris found it hard to concentrate on just one genre as he was surrounded by the sounds of old school R&B and Funk at home, and the Hip- Hop and Pop of his generation. Immersed in this musically diverse world, Kris soon found himself attracted to the rhythmic and soulful feeling of Jazz. He then enrolled in both classical and jazz classes at the Colburn School for Performing Arts, where he remained until the end of high school. While at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), Kris received numerous awards, accreditations and scholarships, and in 2006, he graduated from LACHSA and moved to New York to continue his studies at the Juilliard School. Since his arrival in New York, Kris has shared the stage and/or recorded with jazz artists such as: Terell Stafford, Vincent Herring, Louis Hayes, Casey Benjamin, and Kenneth Whalum III. In addition, he has continued working in a number of other genres, performing and/or recording with: Murs, Q-Tip, Josè James, Jay-Z and Kanye West. Kris can be heard on Kanye West and Jay-Z’s latest album, Watch the Throne. He has also had the good fortune to perform for notable individuals like Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and President Barack Obama. Most recently, Kris was the winner of the 2011 Thelonious Monk Institute International Piano Competition, where he caught the attention of judges: Jason Moran, Herbie Hancock, Danilo Perez, Renee Rosnes, and Ellis Marsalis. He is currently attending Juilliard to earn his Masters degree in Jazz Performance, with a focus on film composition, and while there has studied privately with Eric Reed, Fred Hersch, Frank Kimbrough, and Kenny Barron. Aside from playing, Kris has been composing various styles of music including but not limited to jazz, classical, film music, rock and electronic. “There are far too many brilliant composers and musicians in all genres to remain closed-minded,” Kris says, “I refuse to filter the artists that inspire me whether it be jazz, classical, rap, hip-hop, rock, electronic, film, or whatever else I find myself listening to these days.” Kris is currently forming his own band and will be releasing his debut album on Concord Records next year.

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