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The compositions in Kris Allen's jazz suite reflect on the hope and strength that carry us through difficult situations in reflection of Proverbs 28.

Proverbs 28

Proverbs 28 Suite

By 

Kris Allen

Credits: 

Curated by: 

Jonathon Roberts

2016

Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

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My quintet, featuring myself on alto and soprano saxophone, Frank Kozyra on tenor saxophone, Jen Allen on Piano, Matt Dwonszyk on bass and Jonathan Barber on drums first debuted these pieces on June 26th, 2016 during the Jazz Vespers service at St. Peter’s Church in New York City.


I very much enjoyed and welcomed the challenge of adding a little thread to the larger work that Spark and Echo has instigated. It was especially interesting to spend a lot of repetitive and meditative time in Proverbs, a book of the Bible that is not exactly famed for drama, romance or emotional poignancy; I’d wager that comparatively few musicians have found their inspiration here over the millennia compared to the Gospels, the Psalms, or many other scriptures.


I chose to compose in response to the 28th Chapter of Proverbs. I was originally drawn to this chapter because of it’s repetitive themes of leadership; describing the signatures and effects of both wicked and righteous leaders. Of course with the American presidential primary season in full swing, ideas about leadership (especially fearful ones!) tended to dominate our cultures collective consciousness during the time of this composition, and I was certainly not immune! In addition to many admonitions to just and equitable personal and business practices, Proverbs 28 contains many vivid images of the misplaced potency of a wicked or evil person given power over others – “like a roaring lion or a charging bear” (v. 15). However, there is wisdom in this chapter that goes far beyond the specific issue of political leadership, and calls us all to take all of our fearful and apprehensive thoughts and fears captive to a trustworthy God. The three movements of the suite respond to and creatively play with the major ideas that resonated with me personally in these passages.



Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

Saxophonist, composer and recording artist Kris Allen was born and raised in the Hartford Connecticut area. Kris began musical studies at an early age, but his desire to seriously pursue a life in jazz music was catalyzed through his apprenticeship with legendary alto saxophonist Jackie Mclean, first at Hartford’s Artists Collective and later at the Hartt School of Music in Mclean’s African American Music Degree Program.


He has gone on to perform at major jazz venues throughout New York, the US and worldwide, and forged a clear conceptual and aural identity as a composer, arranger, and educator to match his powerful saxophonic voice.  His latest release, Beloved is his second album for the Truth Revolution Recording Collective, following his critically acclaimed debut recording as a bandleader Circle House (2012).


Kris has enjoyed a long career as a sought-after sideman, working in the groups of Illinois Jacquet, Gerald Wilson, Andy Gonzales, Jimmy Greene, Helen Sung, Winard Harper, Andy Laverne, the Mingus Dynasty, Avery Sharpe, Andy Jaffe, Earl Macdonald, Noah Baerman, Jen Allen, Ike Sturm, Gary Smulyan, Jazzmeia Horn, Rogerio Boccato, Kendrick Oliver’s New Life Orchestra, the Curtis Brothers and Mario Pavone among others. As a composer, Kris has been honored with numerous awards and commissions and has collaborated with dancers, poets, and visual artists, as well as musicians from across diverse genres.


A dedicated educator, Kris is the Lyell B. Clay Artist Artist-In-Residence in Jazz at Williams College, having previously held positions at the Hartt School, Trinity College, Southern Connecticut State University and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. He has been a Teaching Artist for Litchfield Performing Arts since 2001, and conducted clinics and master classes at institutions nation and worldwide.


Kris is a Vandoren Artist and plays Vandoren mouthpieces, reeds and ligatures exclusively.


For more information please visit www.krisallenjazz.com

Kris Allen

About the Artist

Kris Allen

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