Today we’re pleased to introduce you to Khrys Williams, a musician (specifically a trumpeter) who has been working on Playing Hot with us since our first workshop in 2016. Learn more about Khrys below, and see them in Playing Hot beginning April 18!
Pipeline Theatre Company: Why are you working on this project? What is most exciting to you about being part of Playing Hot?
Khrys Williams: To me, a huge aspect of art as a whole – and the most fulfilling part of being an artist – is the range of emotions evoked by the content we make. If there ever is a chance I can make a bunch of people feel that sense of fulfillment, I’m jumping at it. I’ve been a part of Playing Hot productions ever since 2016; most of the cast/crew has grown into a family since then. Even though #PlayingHot is inherently a fun time, doing it with this stage family makes it just as fun for us as performers as much as it is for the audience.
PTC: What instrument do you play? When did you first start and what initially drew you to jazz?
KW: I started playing the trumpet when I was 11 or 12; I got into jazz around age 15. The fact that I could express myself any way I wanted through what I played drew me into jazz. Self-expression has always been a kind of life-force for me, and to be able to do it through an art that I love makes everything in my life infinitely more fulfilling.
PTC: What do you want the folks reading this to know about Playing Hot? What’s the most important element of this project to you?
KW: Be prepared for the theatre experience of a lifetime. The wall between performers and audience is a thin one, and you’ll be enraptured in the spirit of having a good time.
PTC: What is your relationship to Buddy Bolden’s story?
KW: Buddy Bolden was the one who started the rebellious genre we know as jazz by breaking away from standing tradition to put his twist on things. As an artist that plays jazz, I feel that Buddy and I are kindred spirits in that regard. I can relate to the need to break from the status quo and be unique.
In addition to working on Playing Hot, Khrys is part of J-MUSIC Ensemble (@jmusicband on Instagram and Twitter) which he describes as mixing Japanese pop and video game music with jazz. He’s also starting a new project called Khrys Williams and the Red Line Arsenal (@redlinearsenal on Instagram), which will augment our perspective on big band jazz. You can also follow Khriys directly at @khryswilliams on Instagram and Twitter!