Kris Berg, 2019 Guest Conductor
One of the top-selling jazz composer / arrangers in the world, Kris Berg has been enhancing the programs and recordings of jazz ensembles from professionals to middle schools for years. While very popular in the United States, you can find groups from Japan to Germany to England who have enjoyed playing his charts. A composer / arranger for Belwin Jazz, a Division of Alfred Publishing, he has written charts for many artists, including Kurt Elling, Chris Vadala, Wayne Bergeron, and Delfeayo Marsalis, honors bands, colleges, and public school programs across the country. His popular series of “chicken” funk tunes have sold tens of thousands of charts. Kris is the author of the popular bass method book, BASS LINES IN MINUTES, and also has big band charts published with Warner Brothers Music, Doug Beach Music, Bakers Jazz and More, Walrus Music, and Kris Berg Jazz.
Kris’ newest project as composer / band leader is available now. “Time Management” – The Metroplexity Big band, is the impressive follow-up to their popular and critically acclaimed CD, “This Time / Last Year”. Featuring the best musicians north Texas has to offer, the CD also features special guests Phil Woods, Wayne Bergeron, Clay Jenkins, Denis DiBlasio, and Andy Timmons. Combining originals and original arrangements, “Time Management” displays nine smokin’ hot charts for lovers of contemporary big band. Tunes include “Yesterdays”, “Narnian Dance”, and “The Chicken.”
Kris is the retired Director of Jazz Studies at Collin College near Dallas. At Collin, he has taught jazz classes, directed ensembles and is the founder of both the Collin Jazz Fest and the Texas All-Star Jazz Camp. Under his direction, Collin jazz ensembles have performed multiple times at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. The band has also appeared in Nassau, Bahamas as well as at festivals all over the United States. Kris earned his Master’s and Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Studies at University of North Texas where he directed jazz ensembles and taught big band arranging.
An award winning bassist, Kris has appeared or recorded with the likes of Wayne Bergeron, Phil Woods, Jeff Clayton, Kurt Elling, Randy Brecker, Peter Erskine, Bob Mintzer, Delfeayo Marsalis, Bobby Shew, Jimmy Heath, Doc Severinsen, Clark Terry, John Fedchock, Gregg Bissonette, Chris Vadala, Kevin Mahogany, Marvin Stamm, Denis DiBlasio, Frank Mantooth, Matt Harris, Clay Jenkins, Kim Richmond, Tom “Bones” Malone and many others. Currently active as an artist / clinician for Yamaha Corporation of America, he has appeared at jazz festivals and camps throughout the United States and is also endorsed by Acoustic Image Amplifiers and Bag End Loudspeakers. Recently, Kris Berg & the Metroplexity Big Band were featured performers at the Jazz Education Network (JEN) conference.
As a dedicated educator, Kris is consistently active directing honors bands both in Texas and abroad. He has been selected as guest director for the IAJE International Community College All-Star Jazz Band, the Montana, Oklahoma, Maine, Wyoming, Arizona, South Carolina, and Nebraska All-State Jazz Bands, the Texas Collegiate All-State Jazz Ensemble and the Texas Private Schools All-State Jazz Band. He has written articles for “The Instrumentalist” and “JAZZed” magazines. His popular arranging clinic for small jazz ensembles has been presented at the Jazz Education Network Conference, the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Texas Music Educators Association conference, the Maine Music Educators Association conference and the Texas Band Masters conference. Kris is always eager for new opportunities to work with jazz students anywhere.