Kris Monson is a bassist and composer based in New York City. Kris has had the honor of performing in ensembles led by many of the top musicians in the international jazz and contemporary music scenes, including Marc Cary, Vince Mendoza, Lalah Hathaway, Jim McNeely, Tyshawn Sorey, Veronica Swift, Charles Owens, and Ari Hoenig, and at venues including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Smalls Jazz Club, and Blues Alley.
A product of the rich central Virginia jazz community, Kris studied with Pete Spaar and John D’earth while a double major in systems engineering and music at the University of Virginia. Kris continued his studies at the Manhattan School of Music where he received a Master's in Music in Jazz Bass Performance summa cum laude, studying jazz bass under the tutelage of Buster Williams and Harvie S and classical bass with NY Philharmonic bassists Orin O’Brien and David Grossman. Kris is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the New England Conservatory.
A passionate music educator, Kris has taught improvisation and composition at the Manhattan School of Music Summer Festival, Music Fundamentals at George Mason University, Jazz History at Rutgers University OLLI , and is currently a Teaching Assistant at the New England Conservatory. Kris has also given guest lectures and master classes at schools around the country and maintains an active studio of private students in double bass, electric bass, piano, music theory, and improvisation.
Current and recent projects include:
The Kris Monson Quartet, performing all original music. Debut album coming soon!
Kris Monson's "Suite for Charlottesville: Regarding the Unite the Right Rally that took place in Charlottesville, VA on August 11-12, 2017", a suite of original music written for jazz septet
Monson / Mathews LUSH LIFE film & fundraiser, in collaboration with the Seven Tones Project and the Jazz Foundation of America
Extensive touring and performing as a sideman with pianist Joshua Espinoza, guitarist Tomer Cohen and many other bands and projects
As a researcher/composer, Kris has presented his Suite for Charlottesville at the 2021 International Conference on the Blues, presented his research at the 2022 Jazz Education Network (JEN) Annual Conference in Dallas, TX, and has upcoming presentations scheduled for the 2023 International Society of Bassists (ISB) Conference in Ann Arbor, MI and the 2023 College Music Society (CMS) International Conference in Tallinn, Estonia.