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Kris is an in-demand composer and arranger whose previous work includes Grammy- and Emmy-nominated projects. A curated selection of that work is included to preview below.


If you're interested in commissions or film projects please get in contact.

Film Scores


King Ester

"King Ester" is a digital web series released on Issa Rae's YouTube channel, which tells the story of a trans woman navigating life in New Orleans the week before Hurricane Katrina.

The series was nominated for four Daytime Emmy Awards, and featured at a number of festivals. Kris Johnson composed the score for all seven episodes.

Featured Projects


All About That Basie

(Count Basie Orchestra)

Kris contributed three arrangements ("Hello," "Hallelujah," and "Can't Hide Love") to this record, which was Grammy-nominated for "Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album 2018."

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Hello (feat. Kris Johnson, trumpet)
Hallelujah (feat. Mark Williams, trombone)
Can't Hide Love (feat. Wycliffe Gordon, trombone, and Eric Reed, piano)



Various Arrangements

for Kamau Kenyatta

Kris has been a long time fan of Grammy Award-Winning Producer, pianist, saxophonist, and fellow Detroit native Kamau Kenyatta for many years. After seeing a video of Kris Johnson Big Band’s rendition of Wayne Shorter’s “Yes or No,” Kamau reached out to Kris and asked him to arrange and record one of his compositions for the band. This led to several collaborations with Kamau and a mentorship that has been integral to the development of Kris’s career.

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