Trained in classical music and jazz, raised on ’90s rap and hip hop and influenced by film soundtracks, Kris Bowers turns his masterful abilities to music of many influences. Taking up piano at the age of 4, the Californian revealed his musical gifts in elementary school, with a precocious talent for improvisation and a remarkable ear. Playing U.S. music festivals by the time he was in high school, he enrolled in Julliard in 2006. Settling in New York, he put his studies into action, gigging around the city and winning the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. While remaining a jazz artist first and foremost, he fearlessly crosses musical boundaries: Bowers appeared on Watch the Throne (2011), a collaboration between Jay-Z and Kanye West, and composed the music for a documentary film. His 2014 debut album, Heroes+Misfits,was hailed by the critics.