..... Kriya Septet.....



Audio Samples


Kriya Septet- Live at Yoshi's

(bossa/double-time feel) 3:34
Sweet Pepper
(samba-funk) 2:30
Russelling and Bobbing
(swung waltz) 4:05
For No One (Lennon/McCartney)
(funk/Afro-Cuban) 2:58
Corinthian Vase
(ballad) 1:52
Summer Highlands
(West-African) 2:51
Blue Cymbal
(moody swing) 2:07
(double-time latin) 2:53

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The dynamic jazz septet "KRIYA"captivates audiences everywhere with their soul-stirring compositions, creating vivid and ever changing musical landscapes. Refining their sound since the early 80’s, the group also features cutting-edge reconstructions of timeless jazz standards. Listeners are treated to styles and influences ranging from swung, modal and ECM-styles to Latin and West African strains.


Michael Smolens
piano, voice, West African balafon, alto flute

Alan Hall
drums, West African djun djuns, dumbek

Andrew Higgins
acoustic and fretless electric bass

Julian Gerstin
percussion, talking drum

Mike Olmos
trumpet, flugelhorn

Gene Burkert and Colin Wenhardt
soprano, alto, & tenor saxophones, C & alto flutes, bass clarinet


The band members of "KRIYA"are the most highly sought after musicians for contemporary Bay Area jazz projects and are composers in their own right. Their extensive performing, touring, and recording credits include jazz legends: Michael Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Wynton Marsalis, Joe Lovano, Joe Henderson, Paul McCandless, Jimmy Heath, Joey Baron, Trilok Gurtu, Clark Terry, J.J. Johnson, Phil Woods, Eddie Harris, Marc Johnson, Billy Childs, Larry Coryell, Charlie Hunter, Maria Schneider, and vocalists Jon Hendricks, Mark Murphy, Kitty Margolis and Rebecca Parris.


“Michael Smolens is a highly skilled writer whose works recall Miles Davis’ ESP period as well as the exoticism of groups like Oregon.”
-Jesse Hamlin, San Francisco Chronicle

“Smolens’ pieces are notable for their originality and beautifully spacious arrangements...we recommend keeping an eye out for live performances by "Kriya"or one of his other line-ups.””
-Tony Brooke, Critics’ Choice SF Weekly

"A treasure-trove of musical riches."
-Bud Spangler, Producer and host of See’s Sunday Nights Sweets

“No ordinary composer...Smolens gives a broad palette from which to paint luminous ECM-like textures.”
-Lee Hildebrand, East Bay Express Critic’s Choice