Adjudicators

Kris Berg

One of the top-selling jazz composer/arrangers in the world, Kris Berg has written charts for many artists, including Kurt Elling, Chris Vadala, Wayne Bergeron, and Delfeayo Marsalis, honors bands, colleges, and public school programs across the country. 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’ newest recording, “Time Management” – The Metroplexity Big band, features the best musicians north Texas has to offer, including special guests Phil Woods, Wayne Bergeron, Clay Jenkins, Denis DiBlasio, and Andy Timmons.  

Kris earned his Master’s and Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas where he directed jazz ensembles and taught big band arranging. He is an artist for the Yamaha Corporation of America.

As a dedicated educator, he has written articles for “The Instrumentalist” and “JAZZed” magazines.  He has presented at the Jazz Education Network Conference, the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Texas Music Educators Association conference, the Maine Music Educators Association conference and the Texas Band Masters conference.

John Davis

John Davis is Professor of Jazz Studies and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Operations at the University of Colorado Boulder. Under his direction, the program was awarded 14 Down Beat magazine Student Music Awards and was recognized by the university chancellor as one of the University’s “core programs of excellence.” Among other accomplishments, Jazz Ensemble I performed at the 2004 International Association of Jazz Education (IAJE) conference in New York City and was recognized as one of the nation’s outstanding big bands by Down Beat Magazine in 2003 and 2005. Prior to his appointment at CU, he served as Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Northern Colorado, where he was also Festival Coordinator for the UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival for six years.

Professor Davis holds a BA in Music Education and Performance from Metropolitan State College, a MA in Trumpet Performance from the University of Denver, an MS in Organizational Leadership from Colorado State University, and a Doctor of Arts degree in Trumpet Performance and Pedagogy with a secondary emphasis in Jazz Studies from the University of Northern Colorado.

Davis authored the Jazz Volume for the Historical Dictionary for Literature and the Arts, published by Scarecrow Press, Inc., published in 2012.

Ben Markley

Ben Markley, a jazz pianist, has performed with Brian Lynch, Greg Osby, Eddie Henderson, Terell Stafford, George Garzone, and John Fedchock. Markley’s latest recording project is Clockwise: The Music of Cedar Walton (OA2 records).  Markley, along with special guest trumpeter Terell Stafford, celebrates one of the more influential and beloved figures in jazz through this unique project, showcasing many of Cedar Walton’s most revered tunes through new arrangements for big band. Performing iconic compositions such as ‘Hindsight,’ ‘Bolivia,’ and ‘Holy Land,’ Markley brings together top-flight musicians to produce an honest and swinging recording that honors Cedar Walton while presenting his music in a bright new light. The album received great critical acclaim and was selected as one of the best 4 star rated albums of 2017 by DownBeat magazine

Markley is active as a composer and arranger with many charts published through UNC Jazz Press. Compositions from Markleyʼs first two albums have earned him ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Awards. Markley was selected to participate in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program held at the Kennedy Center.

Markley currently serves as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Wyoming and is the director of the UW Jazz Festival.

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