Kris Allen

Photo of Kris Allen

Lyell B. Clay Artist in Residence in Jazz Activities/Lecturer in Music, Director of the Jazz Ensemble

Bernhard Music Center Rm 35

Director of the Williams Jazz Orchestra


B.M. Hartt School, University of Hartford (1998)
M.M. State University of NY, Purchase Conservatory (2004)


Kris Allen is the Lyell B. Clay Artist in Residence in Jazz and Lecturer in Music at Williams and the director of the Williams jazz ensemble program. A native of the Hartford CT area and a protégé of the great Jackie McLean, Kris has forged a clear conceptual and aural identity as a saxophonist, composer, bandleader and recording artist. appearing on dozens of albums. His latest release as a leader, June, is his third critically acclaimed album for the Truth Revolution Recording Collective

“Allen, for all of his fluency in the language of jazz and deep knowledge of the music’s modern masters, is very much his own man with his own creative voice.”-

“Diverse and impassioned….Subtlety, surprise and a sense of urgency… Locating the profound within the familiar”- Downbeat Magazine

Kris has performed and/or recorded with Illinois Jacquet, Gerald Wilson, Andy Gonzales, Jimmy Greene, Helen Sung, Jonathan Barber, Winard Harper, Andy Laverne, the Mingus Dynasty, Avery Sharpe, Ike Sturm, Rogerio Boccato, Andy Jaffe, Kendrick Oliver’s New Life Orchestra, Noah Baerman, the Curtis Brothers and Mario Pavone among others. He has collaborated with dancers, poets, and visual artists, as well as musicians from across diverse genres. Kris’s work has been honored with numerous awards and commissions, including a Macdowell Artist’s Colony fellowship and the Connecticut Office of the Arts fellowship. He currently tours widely as the leader of his own quartet/quintet and as a member of the collaboratively led “Triangle Offense” trio with bassist Matt Dwonszyk and Jonathan Barber. Prior to his time at Williams, he served as a faculty member at Trinity College, the Hartt School, Southern Connecticut State University and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Performing Arts, and he has been a senior teaching artist for Litchfield Performing Arts since 2001. Kris is a Vandoren Artist and plays Vandoren mouthpieces, reeds and ligatures exclusively.

More information about Kris Allen

Photo Credit: Tre Davis (headshot)