Kris Korsgaden

“Without new technologies, we can’t have new music. We have pretty much done everything under the sun with the current technology.

S: Tell me about yourself. Who is Kris Korsgaden?

K: I’m in the construction business. I do tile installations. In the past, I played music full-time. I moved to San Diego, CA sometime around 2009 – and then graduated from SDSU in 2012. From there, I did a really short stint with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Job was horrible, but I met some great people.

For over 12 years, I have performed with some of the best musicians in the world – especially in the Jazz arena. There are too many names to mention, but I would like to give a shout out to one of my favorite musicians that I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, and/or playing with: Dan Reagan – who is the lead Trombonist for Marc Anthony.

Dan’s in Atlanta, GA now. I miss that guy a lot. Dan gave me the opportunity to play a lot of Afro Cuban/ Latin Jazz while I was in SD. That opportunity changed my life, altogether. Now that I’m thinking about it, I need to call him on the phone.

S: How did you first become involved in playing music?

K: I started playing piano when I was three. My mom took me to piano lessons. Later on, when I was around seven, or eight, I started playing with my dad (Keith Korsgaden).

S: What instruments do you play and how long have you been playing them?

K: I can read music on five (5) instruments: Piano, Vibraphone, Guitar, Bass, and Drums. I dabble on some other instruments, but it doesn’t really count if you can’t read while playing.

S: Does music run in your family?

K: Yea – everyone in the immediate family plays at least a little bit. My brother was killin’ the Zeppelin on an acoustic the other day, in Grover Beach, CA. I’m the only one that likes Jazz. My dad, and my brother, can’t stand it. My mom can hang – but she’s not crazy about it either.

S: Where do you draw your inspiration from in regards to playing and producing music?

K:  “I value art – in all forms. I think that’s the only thing that really matters. Art being the physical manifestation of beauty, and beauty being the most difficult commodity to come by in an industrial society.” – Frank Zappa

S: How long have you been performing music?

K: 28 years.

S: Tell me a little bit about your project, BK50 Productions.

K: BK50 Productions is the name of my local music/entertainment business (booking, performing, consulting, etc). I don’t make any real money off it. But, it’s there when I need it. Which reminds me: I need to pay city business tax soon. We need a 25th hour in the day.

S: At what capacity do you work with The Sierra Project? What other projects are you currently involved in?

K: I have never played with Sierra Project. I have randomly met some of the guys over the years. Chase Sanborn is playing trumpet in a new funk band I’m starting. I haven’t decided on a name yet though.

S: What do you think is the status of jazz today? What do you think is the status of jazz in the Central Valley?

K: To be completely honest, Jazz is dead, worldwide. Its over. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t cool. I have a lot of respect for Mauricio and the rest of the guys in The Sierra Project. Keeping it going is a labor of love.

S: What do you think is the future of jazz?

K: Jazz, or something with similar elements, could come back. But, I doubt it. Without new technologies, we can’t have new music. We have pretty much done everything under the sun with the current technology.

Interview by Stephanie Barraza