Kris Bowers definitely qualifies as one of the brightest young jazz players to emerge in recent years. Just 22 and in his second year of a Master’s program at Julliard, he’s a native Angelino who just won the prestigious Thelonious Monk piano competition at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.
Fronting a five-piece band, Bowers returns home on Wednesday, January 4 at 8:30 PM for a date at Catalina’s Bar & Grill, his first appearance as a headliner in Los Angeles since his prestigious Monk win. Bowers has built a steadfast following among numerous straight-ahead jazz players including Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller, both Ellis and Wynton Marsalis, Jason Moran, Terell Stafford, Robert Glasper and Jose James, a longtime friend and associate with whom Bowers often tours as a featured player.
His musical admirers are not only denizens of the jazz community but are also from the worlds of hip hop and R&B including such legends as Kanye West, Ludacris, Q-Tip and none other than the “Queen of Soul,” Ms. Aretha Franklin. All have expressed admiration for Kris Bowers unmistakable talent and originality.
With only months to go until Bowers completes his Masters at Juilliard, his professional career is in overdrive. He’s already performed with or for such notables as Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and President Barack Obama.
Ben Ratliff, covering a Bowers gig at Manhattan’s Jazz Gallery for the New York Times, wrote of Kris, “His playing was serious, thoughtful, organized, restrained; he made the piano sound good. His set had range and ambition and said something strong, sweet and normative about phrasing and rhythm in jazz right now. (It didn’t argue against tradition, and his tradition connects jazz with R&B and gospel onthe deeper levels.)…”
The Catalina’s Bar & Grill lineup will include: Kris Bowers on piano, Sam Gendel on alto sax, Walter Smith III on tenor sax, Josh Crumbly on bass, Gene Coye on drums and Dustin Warren on vocals.
Tickets are $15.00.
Don’t miss Kris!