One 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, Wayne Bergeron, 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’ newest project as composer / band leader is available now. "Time Management" - The Metroplexity Big band, is the impressive follow-up to their popular and critically acclaimed CD, "This Time / Last Year". Featuring the best musicians north Texas has to offer, the CD also features special guests Phil Woods, Wayne Bergeron, Clay Jenkins, Denis DiBlasio, and Andy Timmons. Combining originals and original arrangements, "Time Management" displays nine smokin' hot charts for lovers of contemporary big band. Tunes include "Yesterdays", "Narnian Dance", and "The Chicken."
Kris has been the Director of Jazz Studies at Collin College near Dallas for 20 years. At Collin, he has taught jazz classes, directed 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, Phil Woods, Jeff Clayton, 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 Acoustic Image 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 directing honors bands both in Texas and abroad. 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 arranging clinic for small jazz ensembles has been 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. Kris is always eager for new opportunities to work with jazz students anywhere.
Tim McMillen has been an active trombonist, arranger, and educator for more than 25 years. He currently serves as Director of Bands at Sulphur High School in Sulphur La. and the director of the jazz ensembles at his alma mater, McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La. After completing his Bachelor of Music degree from McNeese and his Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas, Mr. McMillen served as an arranger and trombonist in the United States Air Force band program. His arrangements and performances have been featured on numerous Air Force Band recordings, and two of his original compositions were recorded by the prestigious UNT One O'Clock Lab band on the Lab '90 and Lab '91 CDs. He has written over 350 commissioned works for orchestra, concert, jazz, and marching bands across the world. These include arrangements for shows featuring Wynonna, Josh Turner, Clay Walker, Little Big Town, and Diamond Rio that were performed for over 25 million people on the Armed Forces Network and for the nation on the Great American Country channel's Holiday Notes from Home Christmas Special.
Mr. McMillen has had the privilege of performing across the country, as well as Canada and Europe. Currently the lead trombonist for Kris Berg’s Metroplexity Big Band in Dallas, TX, he has shared the stage and the studio with the likes of Wayne Bergeron, Phil Woods, Denis DiBlasio, Clay Jenkins, and Andy Timmons. Other performances have included The Temptation, The Four Tops, The O’Jays, Percy Sledge, Wayne Newton, and Marie Osmond. He has studied trombone with Steve Wolfinbarger, Susan Smith, Bill Rose, and Vern Kagarice, and his primary arranging instructor and influence was Paris Rutherford. He has been a Visiting Lecturer at McNeese State University since 2004, teaching classes in jazz studies and music education, directing the symphonic and jazz bands, and serving as the assistant marching band director. Mr. McMillen is a member of the National Association for Music Education, College Band Directors National Association, Louisiana Music Educators Association, International Trombone Association, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia National Music Fraternity.
Tommy Poole is Director of Jazz Studies and Associate Professor of Music at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. He is an active saxophonist and woodwind doubler in a variety of genres. He has recorded as saxophonist on numerous commercially available CDs ranging in style from classical, to jazz, to pop. He has performed professionally with Rosemary Clooney, Ramsey Lewis, Johnny Mathis, Arturo Sandoval, The Woody Herman Orchestra, Andy Montanez, Glenn Monroig, Diane Schuur, Jack Jones, Joe Williams, Mercer Ellington, Marilyn McCoo, and Dianne Reeves among many others.
Poole's arrangements/compositions have been featured on at least eight CDs. His first three CDs as producer featured compositions, arrangements, and performances by Poole and received critical acclaim from All About Jazz, JazzEd Magazine, Outside in Music, and JazzTimes Magazine. Poole's latest CD, Solid Gold feat. Michael Dease (2017) received four stars from All About Jazz. Dan Bilawsky of JazzEd Magazine writes, "the OSU Jazz Orchestra ably demonstrates its might and musicality in a multitude of environments across Solid Gold... Poole's 'Out Front' uses infectious lines in fifteen and four to serve as foundational material, his sweeping arrangement of Antonio Carlos Jobim's 'Discussao' is pure Brazilian beauty, and his spirited stab at 'After You've Gone' serves as the perfect send-off while further diversifying his portfolio."
Poole has presented recitals, workshops or served as guest artist, guest conductor, all-state clinician and/or adjudicator at Cal State Long Beach, Cal State LA, Eastfield College, Pittsburg State University, Slippery Rock University, Augustana University, Northeastern State University, Los Angeles City College, The University of Texas at San Antonio, The University of Arkansas (Fayetteville), and The University of Illinois (Urbana). He has served in similar fashion for countless national and international conferences and jazz festivals including the Jazz Education Network Annual Conference, the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference, and the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival. His research on metric modulations in jazz has been published in Jazz Inside Magazine. He served as President of OKJE for 2015-2017 and is a member of the Jazz Education Network, North American Saxophone Alliance, College Music Society, and Oklahoma Jazz Educators Association.
He received his B.M. and D.M.A. from The University of Texas at Austin and his M.M. from The University of Miami.
Dr. William S. Richardson serves as Professor of Music at Northwest Missouri State University, where he teaches trumpet and directs the Northwest Jazz Ensemble. He holds degrees from Central Missouri State University (BME), Florida State University (MM-Trumpet Performance), and the University of Texas at Austin (DMA-Trumpet Performance).
A 2010 Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Richardson served as Visiting Professor of Trumpet at the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music in Riga, Latvia. His affiliation with Northwest has taken him to Austria, China, England, Estonia, Finland, and Japan. Richardson performs as 2nd trumpet with the Saint Joseph (MO) Symphony. He plays Bach Stradivarius/Artisan trumpets and the Conn Vintage One flugelhorn.