Photo by Jati Lindsay, 2021

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Photo by Austin Zhang, 2020

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Photo by Jati Lindsay, 2021

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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, classical bass with NY Philharmonic bassists Orin O’Brien and David Grossman, and composition with Jim McNeely.  Beginning in the fall of 2022, Kris will be a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the New England Conservatory. 

A passionate music educator, Kris has taught at the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division and has given guest lessons and lectures at schools and universities around the country. Kris maintains an active studio of private students in double bass, electric bass, guitar, piano, violin, music theory, and improvisation. Additionally, Kris is a faculty member at Rutgers University OLLI teaching Jazz History and at The Front Porch music school in Charlottesville, VA.

As a composer he has premiered works at the Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, the Manhattan School of Music, as well as various jazz clubs and live music venues around the country. Current and recent projects include:

As a researcher / composer, Kris has presented his Suite for Charlottesville at the 2021 International Conference on the Blues (hosted by Delta State University), presented his research at the 2022 Jazz Education Network (JEN) Annual Conference in Dallas, TX and has an upcoming presentation scheduled for the 2025 College Music Society (CMS) International Conference in Bogotá Colmbia.