Kris Tiner is a California-based trumpet player, composer, and improviser. Featured on NPR Music as one of a handful of new trumpet voices impacting modern music, his playing has been described as “extraordinarily inventive” in Signal to Noise Magazine, and the LA Weekly claims “Trumpeter Kris Tiner can turn barbed wire to beauty.” Incorporating ideas from various fields of psychological and transpersonal inquiry, Tiner’s compositions explore connections between improvisational world music traditions and systemic compositional practices, blending deep jazz roots with references to many diverse streams of contemporary and experimental music. Tiner’s music has been performed on five continents, his 50+ recordings have been enthusiastically reviewed in the international jazz press, and he has been recognized with awards from ASCAP, the American Composers Forum, Chamber Music America, the International Association for Jazz Education and the John F. Kennedy Center. In 2012 he was awarded a Composers Fellowship at the Lucas Artists Residency Program at Montalvo Arts Center, where he collaborated with Parisian artist Stéphane Thidet on a video performance entitled for emptiness. In addition to interdisciplinary projects involving dance, spoken word, visual art, film and animation, he has recorded music for radio, television and motion picture scores, and his trumpet playing has been heard on MTV, NBC, PBS and Comedy Central.
He is a member of the acclaimed Empty Cage Quartet, whose 2008 CD Stratostrophic on Portugal’s Clean Feed record label was hailed as “One of the best things in jazz to emerge in the new millennium” by the UK magazine The Wire. He also collaborates with New York guitarist Mike Baggetta in the duo Tin/Bag; their CD Bridges was chosen as one of the ten best jazz recordings of 2011 by Hank Shteamer of Time Out New York. Tiner performs regularly with the Industrial Jazz Group, Chris Schlarb’s Psychic Temple, Vidya Trio (with pianist Motoko Honda and saxophonist Beth Schenck), Tone Drift Trio (with Steuart Liebig and G.E. Stinson), pianist Cathlene Pineda, the Los Angeles Trumpet Quartet, and the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. He has collaborated with Wadada Leo Smith, Vinny Golia, Kraig Grady, Tatsuya Nakatani, Donald Robinson, Nels Cline, Lukas Ligeti, Gerry Hemingway, Angelica Sanchez, Gianni Gebbia, Joe LaBarbera, Jeff Kaiser, Phillip Greenlief, Nate Wooley, Jack Wright, Ken Filiano, Taylor Ho Bynum, Sara Schoenbeck, Harris Eisenstadt, and Michael Vlatkovich.
A California native, Tiner holds an MFA in African-American Improvisational Music from California Institute of the Arts and a BA in Music from California State University, Bakersfield. His principal teachers included Wadada Leo Smith, Leroy Jenkins, Edward Carroll, Charles Brady, Doug Davis, and Kobla Ladzekpo. He has lectured on both music and visual art, and currently directs the Jazz Program and teaches courses in jazz, popular music, and applied trumpet at Bakersfield College. He is the Trumpet Studio Instructor at California State University, Bakersfield, and has also taught at California Institute of the Arts, Taft College and the Academy of Creative Education in Los Angeles. He has been a visiting lecturer/performer at schools and universities throughout the United States, and has given presentations at annual conferences of the International Society for Improvised Music, the California Art Education Association and the Music Association of California Community Colleges. He has been a featured performer at the FONT Festival of New Trumpet Music (New York), Clean Feed Festival (New York), Aperitivo in Concerto (Milan), Angel City Jazz Festival (Los Angeles), Is That Jazz? Festival (Seattle), In The Flow Festival (Sacramento), Trummerflora Spring Reverb Festival (San Diego), The Outpost Creative Soundspace Festival (Albuquerque), NMASS Festival (Austin), Mission Creek Arts Festival (San Francisco), and the Bakersfield Jazz Festival. His recordings appear on the Clean Feed, Nine Winds, Innova, Asthmatic Kitty, Transparency, Evander Music, and pfMENTUM labels. Tiner has organized a successful series of concerts and multimedia performances in the emerging Arts District of Downtown Bakersfield for over a decade. He is the founder of Epigraph Records, an independent label dedicated to the documentation of new creative music recorded in Bakersfield.
“Torpedo Bags are absolutely the best. The designs are as functional as they are classy, thoughtfully created by musicians for musicians.” — Kris Tiner.
Kris keeps his horn safe in his Outlaw.