39th Annual Jazz Festival

Featuring Guest Artist, Kris Berg

krisbergOne of the top-selling jazz composer / arrangers in the world, Kris Berg has been enhancing the programs and recordings of jazz ensembles from professionals to middle schools for years. While very popular in the United States, you can find groups from Japan to Germany to England who have enjoyed playing his charts. A composer / arranger for Belwin Jazz, a Division of Alfred Publishing, he has written charts for many artists, including Kurt Elling, Chris Vadala, and Delfeayo Marsalis, honors bands, colleges, and public school programs across the country. His popular series of “chicken” funk tunes have sold tens of thousands of charts. Kris is the author of the popular bass method book, BASS LINES IN MINUTES, and also has big band charts published with Warner Brothers Music, Doug Beach Music, Bakers Jazz and More, Walrus Music, and Kris Berg Jazz.

Kris’ first project as a composer / band leader was released in 2012. "This Time / Last Year" features both originals and arrangements, new and older charts. Featuring the Metroplexity Big Band, the CD not only includes the best jazz musicians north Texas has to offer, but also guest spots by Wayne Bergeron, Delfeayo Marsalis, Clay Jenkins and Chris Vadala. Some of the tunes for the CD include a new arrangement for Belwin on “Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise” (Think Elvin meets Hammerstein!), an outrageous funk original, “Games”, the title cut, “This Time/ Last Year” (an ECM style latin chart written for the composer's wife) and, of course, something “chicken”!

Kris has been the Director of Jazz Studies at Collin College near Dallas for almost 20 years. At Collin, he teaches jazz classes, directs ensembles and is the founder of both the Collin Jazz Fest and the Texas All-Star Jazz Camp. Under his direction, Collin jazz ensembles have performed multiple times at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. The band has also appeared in Nassau, Bahamas as well as at festivals all over the United States. Kris earned his Master's and Bachelor's of Music in Jazz Studies at University of North Texas where he directed jazz ensembles and taught big band arranging.

An award winning bassist, Kris has appeared or recorded with the likes of Wayne Bergeron, Kurt Elling, Randy Brecker, Peter Erskine, Bob Mintzer, Delfeayo Marsalis, Bobby Shew, Jimmy Heath, Doc Severinsen, Clark Terry, John Fedchock, Gregg Bissonette, Chris Vadala, Kevin Mahogany, Marvin Stamm, Denis DiBlasio, Frank Mantooth, Matt Harris, Clay Jenkins, Kim Richmond, Tom “Bones” Malone and many others. Currently active as an artist / clinician for Yamaha Corporation of America, he has appeared at jazz festivals and camps throughout the United States and is also endorsed by Walter Woods Amplifiers and Bag End Loudspeakers. Recently, Kris Berg & the Metroplexity Big Band were featured performers at the Jazz Education Network (JEN) conference.

As a dedicated educator, Kris is consistently active as a guest director for All-Region bands in the state of Texas. He has been selected as guest director for the IAJE International Community College All-Star Jazz Band, the Montana, Oklahoma, Maine, Wyoming, Arizona, South Carolina, and Nebraska All-State Jazz Bands, the Texas Collegiate All-State Jazz Ensemble and the Texas Private Schools All-State Jazz Band. He has written articles for The Instrumentalist and JAZZed magazines. His popular and informative arranging clinic for small jazz ensembles has been presented at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Texas Music Educators Association conference, the Maine Music Educators Association conference and the Texas Band Masters conference. Kris is the subject of a chapter in the book Teaching Music through Performance in Jazz. Kris is always eager for new opportunities to work with jazz students anywhere.

Download 2014 Registration Form Here

IWU Jazz Program




What you should know


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Guest Artist:

Kris Berg
jazz composer and arranger


Glenn Wilson, U of I
baritone saxophone

Dr. Tom Birkner,
Belleville High School



Festival Participation Includes:

Non competitive performances
by high school and middle
school ensembles.

An MP3 recording of each performance with Judges comments.  

A performance by IWU’s
premiere Jazz Ensemble featuring guest artish Kris Berg.

 A private 20-minute clinic for each performing group

 45-minute individual masterclasses presented by
each adjudicator.


Illinois Wesleyan University, School of Music
Presser Hall  


Contact Tim Pitchford at tpitchfo@iwu.edu.