Welcome to krisjohnsonmusic.com!
Thank you for visiting! Please take a moment to look around and find out more about myself and my music.
trumpeter, composer, and educator
jazz lecturer, the Ohio State University
Kris Johnson plays CarolBrass®Instruments
Former 3rd trumpeter of the Count Basie Orchestra
March 28, 2013
March 19, 2013
Very excited to share two important items with you. The first is a video by Stephen McGee for my Kresge Artist Fellowship:
The second is an event that is very important to me. As a result of my Kresge Fellowship, I am able to present a performance of my music “Jim Crow’s Tears” which has been updated with new music and lyrics composed by myself, and now features a book by Gary Anderson. This is a FREE performance in Detroit that you don’t want to miss!
December 12, 2012
Heading to New York this weekend to work with Trombone master Wycliffe Gordon. Lots of copyist work helping get his enormous library of charts ready for publication and hitting at the Miller Theater on Columbia University’s campus Saturday night. Come out and support if you’re around!
November 26, 2012
Concert was a major success! Much thanks to everyone who came out and supported, and of course to my brilliant band!
Missed the CD release concert? No worries, you can purchase your copy of “Odd Expressions” for mp3 download or physical delivery at this link:
November 24, 2012
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope to see you all at the release tomorrow!
Just released the promo video for “Odd Expressions”! Check it out!
November 5, 2012
Just released the promo video for “Odd Expressions”! Check it out!
October 22, 2012
Happy birthday to me! Haha, very excited to announce the release date for the Kris Johnson Group’s album, “Odd Expressions”! This album has been in the works for quite some time and I’m very excited to share it with you all. We’ll be celebrating the release at the Carr Center in Downtown Detroit on November 25. The website, an excerpt, and details found below. Hope to see you there!
This excerpt is “Andrew’s Awakening” in 17/8 and is dedicated to our brother and friend, Andrew Kratzat, a phenomenal bassist and composer.
September 2, 2012
photo credit, Liz Brauer
Detroit Jazz Festival was incredible. I am so lucky to be in company of such genius musicians. Mark Stryker of the Detroit Free Press posted a review after the show:
“Johnson’s octet played all original material by the leader. His writing places a big bet on slowly evolving, hummable melodies layered on top of churning rhythms that crest in waves. One song was in 11, another was in 17, another was in 21. If some of the rhythmic games bordered on intellectual exercises, Johnson mostly slipped the noose. Part of the secret was that he balanced the rhythmic complexities with simple melodic and harmonic materials rather than falling into the trap of overwriting. He also showed the ability to project his personality though the ensemble – the mark of a natural bandleader.”
I was also recently featured in the Woodward Talk discussing my recently fellowship from the Kresge Foundation.
“This type of musical cross-pollination is exactly the type of diversity that Johnson strives for in his own compositions. His unclassifiable blend of sounds, timbres and moods is ultimately about the thrill of the hunt: chasing your muse and finding inspiration by any means necessary.”
August 17, 2012
Be sure to catch the Kris Johnson Group’s set at the 2012 Detroit Jazz Festival. Saturday, September 1, 1:15pm – 2:15pm. http://detroitjazzfest.com/satkrisjohnson.html
Also, I am now a jazz lecturer at the Ohio State University. Looking forward to a great year! https://music.osu.edu/people/johnson
July 5, 2012
New entry for my 2012 Catalog. Click here to see the full set.
July 3, 2012
I am so humbled and honored to have been selected as a 2012 Kresge Artist Fellow! I am very proud to be a Metro Detroit artist and am excited to continue to share my music with everyone. Click the image below for more info.
June 27, 2012
Come out to hear the Kris Johnson Group for a FREE concert tomorrow night at New Center Park in Detroit (flyer below)!
June 4, 2012
Latest additions to the catalog…
Yolanda Adams “That Name”
Composed by Richard Smallwood
Arranged and performed by Kris Johnson
Funky Commercial Demo
“Chick n’ Grease”
Produced by Kris Johnson and Lauren Johnson
April 4 , 2012
It’s been way too long since my last post! I’ve been busy editing Wycliffe Gordon’s charts for publishing, recording horns for Bill Moss and other artists, wrapping up the score to “Disasterpiece”, and approving the final art work for my upcoming album, “Odd Expressions.” I also am finishing my commissioned arrangement of Oliver Nelson’s “The Kennedy Dream” for Rodney Whitaker and the Michigan State University Jazz Band.
If you are in the Detroit area, be sure to come out to Cliff Bell’s this Saturday, April 7, to hear The Kris Johnson Group. We play from 9:30pm – 1:30am and the cover is only $10. Visit www.cliffbells.com for more information.
Lastly, the trailer for Stephen Allison’s “Disasterpiece” was just released. This film is my first time scoring a full length film and features The Kris Johnson Group performing the score. Be sure to check it out, this is a brilliant film that I’m sure will be winning many awards in the independent film festival circuit. Stephen is a great talent and has created an incredible film!
September 14, 2011
Staying unbelievably busy this fall with a bunch of great projects. I am happy to be teaching with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s youth program again; our first rehearsal was tonight actually. The band is already swingin’ hard on day one! Looking forward to all the growth that will be made with these promising students!
I’m also scoring a feature film for Stephen Allison entitled “Disasterpiece.” In other film news, I recently arranged and directed a string ensemble and horn section for 10 year old piano prodigy Ethan Bortnick for his upcoming film “Anything’s Possible.” I’ll be sure to let you know when it hits the big screen.
The upcoming album from the Kris Johnson Group, “Odd Expressions,” is one recording session away from being complete. We are continuing to pray for our acoustic bassist and dear friend Andrew Kratzat and his fiance Alicia, who were involved in a terrible car accident. His playing on this record (and everything he’s ever done) is incredible, I can’t wait to share the stage with him again really soon.
July 12, 2011
Recently I’ve been staying very busy recording and editing an upcoming album from “The Kris Johnson Group.” The album is titled “Odd Expressions” and features a 25-minute composition for my band with full orchestra. Check back soon for the official release date.
For anyone in or near the Ohio area please come check out The Kris Johnson Group’s performance at the Columbus Ribs and Jazz Fest on July 22. We’ll be performing from 4pm – 5:30pm at the Hanover stage. This set will feature a few of the new compositions featured on “Odd Expressions”!
April 9, 2011
Great news, I was recently awarded “Outstanding Score” at the 2011 LA Webfest for my work on the comedic webseries The PuNanny Diaries! Congrats to everyone involved in this project, which also won “Outstanding Editor”, “Outstanding Dramedy”, and “Outstanding Directing”. Excited to see what will come next with this great series.
March 7, 2011
Happy to report that the “Total Praise” arrangement and “Odd Expressions” commissions were huge successes! My quintet will be in the studio later this month to record “Odd Expressions,” and my jazz-fusion/neo-soul band The Kris Johnson Group just finished recording our demo. You can check out our song “Life” below, or click here for the full demo.
November 11. 2010
Currently working on three commissioned works! The first is an arrangement of Richard Smallwood’s “Total Praise” with the Farmington Community Band, a wind ensemble directed by my high school band director and long time mentor, Damien Crutcher. This arrangement will also feature a gospel choir and my jazz quartet. Secondly, the Troy High School Orchestra has commissioned a work premiering in February entitled “Odd Expressions” that will also feature my quintet.
August 12, 2010
New site design! Special thanks to MoStudios for their hard work and great design.
Recently, I have completed my film scoring reel, teamed up with film-visionary Jeremy Thomas (more on that coming soon), and recorded a new demo with my quartet. I will also be performing at the Blue Note in New York with the Count Basie Orchestra with special guest LEDISI from Sept 7 – 12!