Saxophonist and composer Kris Allen was a young protege of the great Jackie McLean, with whom he studied at the Artists Collective and the University of Hartford. He went on to perform and/or record with jazz legends such as Illinois Jacquet, Gerald Wilson, and Curtis Fuller, as well as with modern starts such as Winard Harper, Helen Sung, Mario Pavone and the Mingus Dynasty. Kris can be found appearing as the leader of his own quintet, in duo with percussionist Rogerio Boccato, and as both saxophonist and artistic director of the Hartford Jazz Society New Directions Ensemble. He is also very involved with education, as a part time faculty member of The Hartt School, Trinity College, and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Performing Arts. Kris has also been been a teaching artist with the Litchfield Jazz Festival since 2001.