Kris Johnson


Kris Johnson is an empathetic, intelligent, and efficient trumpeter, composer, arranger, film scorer, and educator based in Detroit, Michigan.

As an artist, Johnson work focuses on music that spans the depth and breadth Black American music. The influences that have shaped his artistry include Terence Blanchard, Thad Jones, Nicholas Payton, Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews, Clifford Brown, Roy Hargrove, and many others.

Johnson professional career is expansive for an artist so young, including: playing in and arranging for the renowned Count Basie Orchestra; directing the University of Utah Jazz Studies program; composing several musicals, including “Jim Crow’s Tears” and “Hastings Street: The Musical;” scoring films, such as the Emmy-nominated web series “King Ester;” producing successful personal projects, such as his #looptherapy album and his Kris Johnson Big Band YouTube series.

Johnson recently accepted the role as an Assistant Professor of Jazz Trumpet at the University of Michigan’s Department of Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation. He also teaches through his online platform, Office Hours with Kris.