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Kris Myers
Kris Myers lg
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Artist Biography

Everything you need to know in one spot.

  • Band/Affiliation: Umphrey's McGee/Recording Artist
  • Country: United States

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Having started drumset at age 8, Kris was living in a household in Palatine, Illinois, brought up listening to legendary rock acts the Police, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. As a child of the 80's, there was also the influence of MTV and radio, hearing the music of Prince, U2, Tears for Fears, Duran Duran, Run DMC, Herbie Hancock, and Talking Heads. By age 12, however, Kris was finding himself more interested in grade school hard rock/heavy metal bands where, as the drummer and vocalist, Myers honed his chops blasting through catalogs of Ozzy, Metallica, Van Halen, Living Colour, and Black Crowes. He continued to freelance through high school, when during the end of the "hair band era", turned to alternative, punk, grunge, and industrial music. At this time, Kris was also playing with the school jazz, concert, and marching band and keeping a serious commitment to golf. Ultimately, music became Kris's direction when he earned a scholarship at Elmhurst College. While in school, he began his professional gigging career, listening to a new palette of music; jazz and classical. At that time Kris earned several performance awards for the Honors Recital as a percussionist, and for the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival for outstanding soloist. Elmhurst College Director of Jazz Studies and Grammy Award winning composer/arranger Doug Beach started a program where he put students like Kris to work, playing weddings on the weekend and such, until he graduated in May, 1999. From 2000-2002, Kris earned his Masters Degree in Jazz Studies from Depaul University. From that point on, Kris became a freelance studio and live performer, working with Chicago fusion fabs Kick the Cat, recording artists Rob Parton, Mark Colby, John McLean, Rob Cornelius(Poi Dog Pondering), and Paris Delayne(Sonia Dada).

Currently, Kris plays with progressive rock/jamband outfit Umphrey's McGee, with whom he started with in 2003. Over the course of the last 10 years, the band has performed at festivals such as Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, and continues to sell out shows in the nation's premier venues coast to coast. They have toured Europe multiple times and performed at Japan's Fuji Rock Festivals in 2006. They have also recorded and/or performed with Dave Matthews, Adrian Belew, Buddy Guy, Joshua Redman, Stanley Jordan, Mavis Staples, Koko Taylor, Huey Lewis, Bela Flek, Victor Wooten, Jeff Coffin, Mike Keneally, Phil Lesh, Warren Haynes, and Ivan Neville, to name a few. Music fans and listeners recall Frank Zappa's "mix and match" approach, where Kris's jazz studies have given him a vast set of tools and made him a fearless improviser, a key ingredient in a band that plays off the cuff pieces at every show, never repeating a given song for weeks at a time. When time permits, Kris plays in Chicago with various jazz ensembles, and several various electronic, drum and bass, house, and hip hop artists.

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