Kris Bowers in spectacular opening to new SFJAZZ season

Kris Bowers – courtesy SFJAZZ

SFJAZZ gets the new season off to a spectacular start next week with Emmy Award-winning composer and pianist Kris Bowers who takes to the stage of the Miner Auditorium for what promises to be a hugely memorable opening night on September 23rd.

Most recently fêted for his scores for Bridgerton and The United Stages vs. Billie Holiday, Los Angeles-based pianist and composer Kris Bowers has a unique style which combines jazz, R&B, classical standards and cinematic music, with the alternative and experimental music of his youth. His inspiration has been drawn from artists as diverse as Steve Reich, Radiohead, Stevie Wonder, Brian Eno, Herbie Hancock, and Jimi Hendrix, as well as jazz legends such as Ahmad Jamal, Wynton Kelly and Oscar Peterson.

A graduate of the Juilliard school, Kris Bowers was the winner of the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition, and following contributions to Kanye West and Jay-Z’s Watch the Throne in 2011, and acclaimed albums by trumpeter Etienne Charles and vocalist José James, Bowers’ debut album, Heroes+Misfits, opened at number one on the iTunes jazz chart in 2014. Among other accolades and achievements are his collaboration with choreographer Kyle Abraham on Absent Matter in 2015, and the commission by the Alvin Ailey Dance Company in 2016 to create a work for the contemporary ballet Untitled America. He won his Emmy in 2017 for Outstanding Music Direction and Composition for The Snowy Day.

Kris Bowers has also written scores for When They See Us, Dear White People, Seeds of Time and Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, and in 2018 he was invited to write the score for Green Book – based on Don Shirley’s two-month tour of the American South in the early 1960s – directed by Emmy and Academy Award-winning Peter Farrelly, and starring Academy Award-winning actor Mahershala Ali. Bowers was Ali’s on-screen hand-double, as well as his piano instructor in the months leading up to the filming.

For his season-opening performance, Kris Bowers will be using the SFJAZZ Center’s new immersive media system to demonstrate his virtuosity with his soundtrack scores and new film shorts. The performance takes place in the Miner Auditorium at SFJAZZ on Thursday, September 23rd. Further details are available on the SFJAZZ website.

Fridays Live

SFJAZZ has more good news for jazz enthusiasts! So successful have the Fridays at Five sessions proved, that – starting on September 24th at 7.30 pm (PT) – a new series launches. Entitled Fridays Live, it’ll feature live broadcasts from the SFJAZZ Center of that evening’s concert as well as never-before-seen performances from the SFJAZZ archives. Fridays Live will keep all of the same immersive elements as Fridays At Five, including real-time chats with artists and fans, multi-cam HD video, and state-of-the-art audio.

If you miss the Fridays Live broadcast, or if you live in a distant time zone, you can catch the Saturday Encore at 10.00 am (PT) the following morning as part of your Membership. Or you can access it On-Demand in your own time (each program available for 90 days) for an additional fee (Members save 50%).

The first program of this new weekly series features tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain performing with star drummer Eric Harland, Uzbek dorya master Abbos Kosimov, and broken beat pioneer Mark de Clive-Lowe. The line-up for future concerts includes Claudia Villela, the SFJAZZ Collective, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Pink Martini.

All details for the live performance and the broadcast can be found on the SFJAZZ website.

Information sourced from:

SFJAZZ program notes

Kris Bowers

Green Book

ArtsPreview home page

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