By Litchfield Performing Arts, a not-for-profit educational charity.

Kris Allen


Saxophonist, composer and recording artist Kris Allen was born and raised in the Hartford Connecticut area. Kris began musical studies at an early age, but his desire to seriously pursue a life in jazz music was catalyzed through his apprenticeship with legendary alto saxophonist Jackie Mclean, first at Hartford’s Artists Collective and later at the Hartt School of Music in Mclean’s African American Music Degree Program.

He has gone on to perform at major jazz venues throughout New York, the US and worldwide, and forged a clear conceptual and aural identity as a composer, arranger, and educator to match his powerful saxophonic voice.  His latest album, Belovedfor the Truth Revolutions Recording Collective features his quartet, was praised for its “startling creativity” by and described as “One of the better new releases of 2016” by Downbeat magazine.

Kris has enjoyed a long career as a sought-after sideman, working in the groups of Illinois Jacquet, Gerald Wilson, Andy Gonzales, Jimmy Greene, Helen Sung, Winard Harper, Andy Laverne, the Mingus Dynasty, Avery Sharpe, Andy Jaffe, Earl Macdonald, Noah Baerman, Jen Allen, Ike Sturm, Gary Smulyan, Jazzmeia Horn, Rogerio Boccato, Kendrick Oliver’s New Life Orchestra, the Curtis Brothers and Mario Pavone among others.  As a composer, Kris has been honored with numerous awards and commissions and has collaborated with dancers, poets, and visual artists, as well as musicians from across diverse genres.  He is also a founding member of the Jazz Samaritan Alliance.

A dedicated educator, Kris is the Lyell B. Clay Artist Artist-In-Residence in Jazz at Williams College, having previously held positions at the Hartt School, Trinity College, Southern Connecticut State University and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. He has been a Teaching Artist for Litchfield Performing Arts since 2001, and conducted clinics and master classes at institutions nation and worldwide.

Kris is a Vandoren Artist and plays Vandoren mouthpieces, reeds and ligatures exclusively.

For more information please visit

Artist Website