Pianist and composer Kris Bowers makes genre-bending jazz that touches upon contemporary R&B, electronica, and forward-thinking modal improvisation. Born in Los Angeles, California in 1989, Bowers grew up listening to his parents classic soul records and hip-hop before falling under the spell of jazz, classical music, and film scores. He studied classical piano and jazz while attending the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, and performed in numerous festivals while still a teenager. After high school, Bowers earned both undergraduate and Master's degrees in jazz performance from Juilliard. It was there that Bowers began making a name for himself as a formidable jazz musician and he found regular work gigging around New York City. In 2011, Bowers won first place in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. That same year, he showcased his versatility by appearing on Jay-Z and Kanye West's collaborative album, Watch the Throne. In 2014, Bowers released his experimental jazz, R&B, and electronic-influenced debut album Heroes + Misfits on Concord. ~ Matt Collar, Rovi