Kris Johnson Music Ensemble

Kris Johnson Music Ensemble


The Kris Johnson Music Ensemble plays high energy, hard swingin’, and deeply soulful jazz music. Their performances draw music from their own original material and from innovative renditions of the standard jazz repertoire that will more then quench your thirst for live entertainment.


KJME possesses an original sound that is deeply rooted in the traditions of jazz music. The group was formed because of the vision of Kris Johnson (trumpet) and Lynn Gruenewald (alto sax), two graduates from the Michigan State University Jazz Studies Area. Their goal was to assemble a group of like-minded musicians who are dedicated to creating original, artistic, and entertaining jazz music. They found these creative spirits in Jim Holden (tenor sax), Rob Stringer (trombone), Tommy Roe (bari sax), Ross Margitza (piano), Andrew Klein (bass), and Ryan Ptasnik (drums).

Their sound is highly influenced by the work of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Cannonball Adderly, and countless other pioneers of jazz. With a large repertoire of original music, KJME also adds their own original flavor to a number of traditional jazz standards.

List of venues played:

Baker’s Keyboard Lounge (Detroit)
Live radio show on East Lansing’s 89.9FM Jazz Spectrum
East Lansing Summer Solstice Jazz Festival
Clubhouse Tavern (Detroit)
Oades Hidden Camel (Lansing)
Stober’s (Lansing)


KJME Octet Demo
Playing on 89.9FM (East Lansing)