(Jason Miller/Getty Images)

When pianist Kris Bowers was 22, he won the prestigious Thelonius Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. After his performance, Aretha Franklin came backstage, asked for his phone number and suggested they work together. Today, Bowers crosses the traditional lines of jazz with hip-hop, even appearing on an album with Jay-Z and Kanye West. He’ll perform at the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest on Friday, and he joins us in the studio for a live performance.

Kris Bowers covers Kendrick Lamar's "Rigamortis":

Guests:
Kris Bowers, jazz pianist

  • Ben Rawner

    I really enjoy ur sound, you have obviously worked on it and evolved it. I was wondering how u challenge and push yourself while still remaining authentic to who you are ?

  • SUSAN

    Love Kris’s music! Thank you for your beautiful talent and discipline. U R wonderful to listen to in this harsh, cold, hostile world. Best to U!

  • Joan

    I haven’t listened to much piano in recent years, especially non-classical, because I began to find most work I heard either boring or tiresome (probably more a reflection of me than the pianists). But Kris Bowers is anything but boring. I’ll be listening, and passing this on, along with his Web URL, to friends/family on Facebook. Thank you, KQED! Kris is a real treasure, and I look forward to following him.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor