Solo piano Festival/Tour and John Zorn’s Bagatelles

The Jazz Gallery’s Alone Together piano Festival happens on April 22/23rd and should prove to be an interesting night of solo piano performances by Fabian Almazan, Aaron Parks, Theo Hill, Luis Perdomo and myself.  I go on a solo European tour between May 11-19 (see calendar).

Also, I’m very excited to be playing John’s Zorn’s Bagetelles again in May- first at the Stone on may 3rd in NYC and then at the Victoriaville festival (FIMAV) on May 21st.  Joining me will be Mary Halvorson, Drew Gress and Tyshawn Sorey!


Album releases and concerts in 2016- Newport Jazz Festival, Michael Formanek, Eric Revis, John Zorn and Craig Taborn

Very excited to announce that I will perform at the Newport Jazz festival in July this year! I will be performing twice- a solo concert and with Eric Revis’ quartet with Ken Vandermark and Nasheet Waits!

In March, Eric Revis’ new trio record is coming out on Cleanfeed with Eric, myself and Gerald Cleaver. We tour Europe in March (John Betsch plays drums)…see here for dates and locations.  I found an excellent quote from Branford Marsalis about Eric in a recent Jazz Times article: “It’s not so much a big sound, it’s a big beat. He plays with a certain kind of physical authority you don’t find very often anymore.” So true!

Last week I play at Winter Jazz Fest with Michael Formaneks’ new big band, Ensemble Kolossus. His album is coming out on ECM in a few weeks; the music is breathtaking and I’m honored to be a part of this incredible ensemble. I highly recommend taking a listen to this album!

I’m excited to announce that after three years of composing, I have completed a set of new solo works for piano (commissioned by The Shifting Foundation) and will premier the works at the Jazz Gallery in April.  These are short, through composed pieces and I plan to offer the score to each piece as a download through my website.  I will also premier some of the works on a solo European tour in May.

A few months ago I played some of John Zorn’s Bagatelles at the Stone.  This project gave way to a new quartet with myself, Mary Halvorson, Drew Gress and Tyshawn Sorey.  We will play Zorns’ bagatelles at some festivals this year and next year (TBA!) and at the Village Vanguard in August along with some other excellent bands (my first time playing at the Vanguard!).

Thanks to the Shifting Foundation, Craig Taborn and I will perform a series of two piano concerts in the fall, touring the US and Canada for two weeks in October.  We played together this past year for a duos recording I made (more about this soon) and it was one of those rare moments that felt like we’ve been playing together for years.  So excited for this project and a big thanks to The Shifting Foundation for making this possible.


Doris Duke Impact Award and Downbeat Critics Poll

I’m very excited to announce that I was chosen to receive a 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award along with Tyshawn Sorey, Matt Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Mark Dresser, Milford Graves and Mark Dresser.  More information can be found here.

Also, I just found out that I made 2nd place in the category of Rising Star Pianist in this years Critics Poll in Downbeat Magazine!  There is also an excellent review of ‘Save Your Breath’, my new octet record, in this August Downbeat Issue.

Residency at the Stone

I am honored to present a series of projects I am involved in as well as my own projects at the Stone between June 24-29th.

June 24 – 8pm, the collective quartet LARK with Ralph Alessi, Tom Rainey, Ingrid Laubrock and Kris Davis and 10pm Tom Rainey’s Obbligato featuring Ralph Alessi, Ingrid Laubrock, Drew Gress, Kris Davis and Tom Rainey.

June 25 – 8pm Kermit Driscoll Trio with Kris Davis, Kermit Driscoll and Jared Shoenig.  10pm Kris Davis SOLO

June 26 – 8pm Ingrid Laubrock’s Anti-house with Mary Halvorson, Ingrid Laubrock, Kris Davis, John Hebert and Tom Rainey.  10pm Ingrid Laubrock’s Octet CD release

June 27 – 8 and 10om Infrasound revised with Andrew Bishop and Ben Goldberg, Nate Radley, Kris Davis and Ches Smith.

June 28 – 8 and 10pm Paradoxical Frog with Ingrid Laubrock, Kris Davis and Tyshawn Sorey

June 29 – 8pm Death Rattle with Mary Halvorson, Ingrid Laubrock and Kris Davis and 10pm CAPRICORN CLIMBER with Mat Maneri, Ingrid Laubrock, Kris Davis, Eivind Opsvik and Tom Rainey.

Downbeat Article by Bradley Bambarger- December issue

New Approaches

The music of pianist Kris Davis is characterized by its duality. Although often tagged as “cerebral”—and her output is complex and progressive, often as tied to contemporary classical as it is to jazz—Davis’ music is just as much a visceral experience. A similar duality is present in her personality: A soft-spoken modesty comes across at first, but it’s inner confidence and self-possession that make the lasting impression. These qualities have helped make the Calgary- bred Davis, 33, one of the more highly regarded composer-improvisers on the New York scene.

On the heels of a quintet album released March 18—Capricorn Climber (Clean Feed)—Davis put out two more albums this fall: Massive Threads (Thirsty Ear), her second solo piano disc, and the all-improvised LARK (Skirl), documenting a collective with saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, trumpeter Ralph Alessi and drummer Tom Rainey.

Set for release next year is Waiting For You To Grow, the second album by her trio with Rainey and bassist John Hébert. The title refers to her writing and recording the music while pregnant with her first child. Balancing creative work with new motherhood, Davis then finished composing an album-length suite for an unusual octet—four bass clarinets, guitar, piano, organ, drums—that she will premiere in January at Roulette in Brooklyn, then record in the studio.

Davis has recorded eight albums as a leader in a decade. That’s in addition to two albums with Paradoxical Frog, her collaborative trio with Laubrock and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Davis’ drive stems in part from the way she first pursued her life in music, having left Calgary at 17 to study jazz piano in Toronto. “I’ve always had a commitment to working hard,” she said. “That comes from when I first left home—I had this fear: ‘Am I going to be able to do this and make it?’ That has stuck with me.”

Once in New York, Davis didn’t take long to develop a soundprint marked by a horizontal, line-oriented method rather than one that’s vertical and chord-centered. Early jazz influences had included Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett, followed by such mentors as saxophonist Tony Malaby. Lately, she has been drawn to modernist composers. Her first solo album, Aeriol Piano (Clean Feed), included prepared piano à la John Cage. There’s a piece on Massive Threads based on György Ligeti’s étude The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; another had her musing, “What if Morton Feldman played Monk?” Her upcoming trio album includes a number titled “Berio,” after Luciano. She said, “The discipline of learning to play Ligeti or Berio makes you relate different physically to the keyboard—and that can open up new approaches.”

Residency at Cornelia Street

As part of a residency at Cornelia Street Cafe, I will perform with 2 of my well established groups and one experimental ensemble. This will take place on the last Saturday of September, October and November.  See below…

September 28th- Kris Davis Trio with Tom Rainey and John Hebert.  Performing the music I composed for the Jazz Gallery Residency  in April.

October 26th- LARK! CD release party (on Skirl Records) with Ingrid Laubrock, Ralph Alessi and Tom Rainey. (We are also playing at Edgefest on the October 24th in Ann Arbor as part of the CD release).

November 30th- ‘Experimental Quartet’ with Sam Newsome-soprano saxophone, William Parker-bass, Ches Smith-drums