About this Artist
Kris Bowers is an award-winning film composer and pianist known for his thought-provoking playing style and genre-defying film compositions that pay homage to his classical and jazz roots. Since gaining prominence through collaborating with musicians and artists across genres, including Jay Z, Kanye West, Kyle Abraham, chef Fredrik Berselius, Kobe Bryant, Mahershala Ali, Justin Simien, and Ava DuVernay, Bowers has composed music for film, television, documentaries, and video games. His works include The Snowy Day (for which he won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Direction and Composition in 2017), Dear White People, Green Book, When They See Us, Black Monday, Madden NFL 20 and Madden NFL 21, Mrs. America, Bridgerton, Bad Hair, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Respect, and King Richard.
Bowers, an official Steinway Artist, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Fred Hersch, Eric Reed, and Kenny Barron. In 2011, Bowers won The Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, receiving a recording contract with Concord Records and personal acknowledgment from special event honoree Aretha Franklin. In 2014, after he released his first album, Heroes + Misfits, iTunes named Bowers one of 12 “Artists to Watch.” In 2016, Bowers was selected to perform at the White House for International Jazz Day, hosted by President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama. Bowers, an avid collaborator, has created wholly unique experiences through performance art and installations with Abraham.In.Motion (led by choreographer Kyle Abraham), Alvin Ailey Dance Company, and artist and professor Ekene Ijeoma.
In 2015, Bowers worked on the Showtime documentary Kobe Bryant’s Muse, directed by Gotham Chopra and starring Bryant himself. Shortly after, Bowers and Bryant formed a working relationship that would later lead to Bowers scoring music for Bryant’s post-basketball transition into media production. Bowers composed music for several of Bryant’s audiobooks, including the Wizenard and Legacy series. In 2017, Krug commissioned Bowers to create compositions inspired by and paired with new signature vintages of Krug champagne. In 2018, Bowers scored Monsters and Men, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Bowers’ work also appeared in Ava DuVernay’s Netflix miniseries When They See Us, which earned him an Emmy nomination for Original Dramatic Score in 2019. In 2020, Bowers received an Emmy nomination for Original Dramatic Score for his work on the Hulu/FX show Mrs. America.
In 2020, Bowers also co-directed the documentary short film A Concerto is A Conversation with documentary filmmaker Ben Proudfoot. The film, a The New York Times Op-Doc, is executive produced by Ava DuVernay and centers on Bowers’ conversations with his paternal grandfather, tracking his family’s lineage from Bascom, Florida, and the Jim Crow south to Walt Disney Concert Hall. The film, which premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, was an Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary (Short Subject) at the 93rd Academy Awards. In 2021, Bowers also received Emmy nominations for Original Dramatic Score and Original Main Theme Music for his work on the Netflix series Bridgerton.