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Kris Bowers: New Power Generation

Balancing jazz intellect and accessible songcraft

President Obama meets Monk Competition finalists (l. to r.) Emmet Cohen, Joshua White and Kris Bowers
Kris Bowers
Kris Bowers

Through his debut, Heroes + Misfits (Concord Jazz), 24-year-old keyboardist-composer Kris Bowers wants to comment on the power of his generation. “We have such a connection with one another and connection to a limitless amount of information via the digital age,” he argues via Skype. “We have so much more power than the generations before us, and the generations after us will have even more.”

Bowers recruited some of his contemporaries, then anchored the disc with the Strauss-Howe generational theory, which pinpoints recurring generational cycles in American history. From William Strauss and Neil Howe’s 1997 book, The Fourth Turning, Bowers cites the four generational archetypes-prophet, nomad, artist and hero-as inspiration for the disc title’s first part. “The last hero generation was the G.I. Generation, according to them,” he explains. “And the next hero generation, [the Millennials], is mine.”

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