Kris Romberg was born and raised in Soldotna. She fell in love with jazz at an early age, singing and performing from the time she could talk, and she started playing trumpet in fifth grade. (Shout out to Mr. Schmidt!) Kris played in the symphonic and jazz bands all four years at SoHi (along with hockey, swimming and track and field). She went on to study music (and human development and teaching) at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. While at Dartmouth, Kris was a DJ for WFRD 99.3FM “99-Rock” in Hanover. She also performed for/with a variety of bands/groups throughout NH/VT, including the Modern Madrigal Singers, the Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble and the World Music Percussion Ensemble. She earned an honors music degree with her thesis on “Sarah Vaughan: The Divine One and Her Influence on Jazz.”
Kris embarked on her career as an educator right out of college. She taught in the Bay Area, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and in Lebanon. In each of those places, Kris continued to perform a variety of music. She returned to the Kenai Peninsula in 2014 to teach in a lower elementary classroom at Soldotna Montessori Charter School, and she is excited to bring a variety of jazz tunes and stories to local public radio.
First album purchased: I bought some albums from Columbia House’s mail-order CD club in the early 1990s. They included: Bette Midler — official soundtrack of “For The Boys,” a Michael Crawford album (probably a “best of,” but he was in his best tenor form), the “Pretty Woman" soundtrack; Miles Davis — Kind of Blue, and Wynton Marsalis — The Resolution of Romance, Standard Time, Vol. 3.
Most memorable concert: Too hard to answer — too many memorable concerts around the world over the years. Right now I am thinking of Melody Gardot at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco in 2012, Radiohead at Treasure Island Music Festival in 2013, Rodrigo y Gabriela at Fox Theater in Oakland in 2014, and Brandi Carlile at Fox Theater in Oakland in 2015.
Music she’d want if stranded on a desert island: I’d prefer instruments (dealer’s choice) so I can play whatever I feel like hearing. I know that is cheating, so if someone demanded an answer of an album or artist, I would probably go with Michael Jackson (and include the Jackson 5).