Khris Royal was born to be a musician. This young and exceptional New Orleans native began playing the saxophone at seven years old, and producing and writing music at fourteen. Royal’s musical talents were nurtured at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA) High School, in classrooms once shared by jazz greats such as Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Terrence Blanchard, and Donald Harrison. When Royal was only 16, he was granted a full scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA and his career has taken off since then.
To date, Royal has played with hip-hop giants and jazz and funk legends alike, from Lettuce, to Bobby Brown, Alvin Batiste, Ellis Marsalis, Christian Scott, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis, Tony Clifton, The Sam Kininger Band, and Johnta Austin. The impressive young artist has recorded with Mary J. Blige, Ashanti, Nelly and The Game, Erykah Badu, Goapele, D.J. Quick, and is also featured with the Regiment on Season 2 of The Boondocks. Royal has developed relationships with prominent New Orleans artists as well, such as George Porter Jr., Zigaboo Modeliste, Fred Wesley, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Galactic, and countless more. The range of Khris’ musical relationships is versatile and reflects the scope of his talent. Although Royal continues to expand and develop his craft, from Jazz, hip-hop, rock, soul, electronic, funk, R & B, Blues, and Ska–musically, there is not much Khris Royal has not already mastered and incorporated into his unique style.
In addition to leading his own band, Khris Royal & Dark Matter (see below), Khris Royal has been the only horn player in George Porter Jr. & the Runnin’ Pardners since Fall 2009. In 2011, Royal joined as a touring member of the popular West Coast rock/reggae band, Rebelution.