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about Kris

Short Bio

For nearly two decades, Kris Keith has made a name for himself in the local Columbus, Ohio music scene. His reputation for being a strong woodwind doubler and his ability to perform musical styles from jazz to classical, from Cuban to Brazilian, from rock to funk, has kept him in high demand as a sideman and session player.

Some of the Columbus bands he performs with regularly include:

Kris also has extensive experience in the studio recording for television and radio at Circa Music.

His own projects include:

  • La Charanga Tres: a ten piece orchestra, celebrating the music of Cuba during the 1920's to the 1960's;
  • Trio Classique: flute, violin and cello, performing classical music.
  • Minan-Dya: a jazz ensemble featuring Kris' original compositions with a focus on american/latin jazz with a 2000 CD release;
  • Magically Delicious: an experimental project with drums, bass, and woodwinds focusing on original compositions and arrangements with a 2006 CD release.

A few highlights

After serving three years in the U.S. Army, 283rd Army Band, Ft. Benning, Georgia, Kris received his B.M. from the Ohio State University in 1994. While attending the Ohio State University, Kris studied flute with Katherine Borst Jones and Randy Hestor, jazz improvisation with Gene Walker, Gary Carney, and Hank Marr; performed as a member of the 1991 All American College Orchestra, Epcot-Center, Florida; won the 1992 Central Ohio Flute Association Collegiate Division Competition; and received the Elmhurst Festival Jazz Solo award in 1994.

After graduation, Kris stayed in Columbus, touring and recording with local Columbus rock band, Mary Adam 12; performing and recording with several other Columbus based ensembles including: Paul Brown's Science Gravy Orchestra, Honk-Wail-&-Moan, Brasileira, Madrugada, Yumbambe, and Sambateria to name just a few; forming groups to pursue his own original composing and to further study and perform music of Cuba and Brazil; teaching privately; and working as a substitute music teacher in the Columbus Public School system with an extended position in 1999 at the Fort Hayes School of Performing Arts.

Since 2000, Kris has been involved with Jazz For Kids, an artist-in-the-schools program designed by Kris and his colleagues to introduce jazz to K-3rd grade students. Jazz for Kids is currently celebrating it's fifth year in an extended residency at the New Albany K-1 School and has performed throughout the Columbus Public School system and surrounding cities of Franklin County.

In 2008, Kris received a FCNA grant for his project "Music Can Heal: A Latin Orchestra and Dance Experience", a project designed to benefit local senior citizens using the musicians from his Cuban Orchestra "La Charanga Tres"; and he was recognized as one of Columbus' "Forty under 40" by Business First. Kris has taught jazz improvisation every summer since 2000 at the Ohio State University Summer Flute Workshop with Katherine Borst Jones; has been Adjunct Faculty in the Jazz Department at the Ohio State University since 2007 directing the Jazz Lab Ensemble and Latin Jazz Combo; is serving as the National Flute Association, Jazz Committee Chair (2010-2015); in Spring Quarter 2012, Kris graduated with his M.A. from the Ohio State University in Woodwind Pedagogy; and he continues to enjoy life with his wife Kate and their three animals (Ricki, Kofi, & Ellie) in Dublin, Ohio.

Long Bio

Available on request... :-)