Kris Johnson to University of Michigan

Kris Johnson has been appointed faculty at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance as an Assistant Professor of Jazz Trumpet this fall 2024.

Kris Johnson is an acclaimed trumpeter, composer, and educator originating from the vibrant city of Detroit. With a dynamic portfolio encompassing music, film scores, musical theater, and education, Kris has carved an enduring legacy in the jazz realm through his diverse range of projects.

A distinguished figure in the music community, Kris boasts an impressive resume, including collaborations on six GRAMMY-nominated albums. Notably, his arrangement contributions to the Count Basie Orchestra's "Basie Swings the Blues" earned him acclaim, culminating in a coveted GRAMMY win for Best Large Jazz Ensemble at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards in 2024.

As the visionary behind The Kris Johnson Group, Kris has spearheaded the creation of several studio albums, including "Odd Expressions," "Journey Through a Dream," and "The Unpaved Road," featuring collaborations with esteemed artists like Lulu Fall. Kris's innovative spirit shines through in projects such as "SAFE," an introspective audio-visual album seamlessly blending music and abstract animation to delve into poignant childhood memories. Moreover, his creative exploration extends to "#looptherapy," a transformative project reflecting the deep personal journey he has embarked upon in recent years, offering a profound and cathartic experience for both himself and his audience.

In the realm of film, Kris's talent seamlessly extends to scoring, evident in his award-winning compositions for various web series, documentaries, and feature films. His work, showcased in projects like the Emmy-nominated web series "King Ester" by Dui Jarrod, attests to his versatility and artistic prowess.

As a composer, Kris has garnered recognition from esteemed institutions such as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Count Basie Orchestra. His accolades include the 2012 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers award and selection as one of 25 Detroit performing and literary artists to receive a $25,000 Kresge Artist Fellowship.

Beyond his musical endeavors, Kris is a dedicated educator, having served in various roles at institutions such as the University of Utah, Michigan State University, and The Ohio State University. He is also the visionary behind “Office Hours with Kris Johnson,” an online series offering video courses and ebooks tailored for virtual learning. Presently, Kris holds the position of Assistant Professor of Jazz Trumpet at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. (Source: Kris Johnson)

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