"Kris offers a dynamic cross-section of the styles he grew up with, performed with the respect of his band and great pianists before him."
-- Tim Laughlin

"He knows how to swing and stride — with both hands — and his playing is fluid, supple — never stiff. His accompaniment is the very definition of sweet teamwork, and his solos are full of surprises: you can’t tell where he is about to land, but it’s graceful and satisfying when he does."
--Michael Steinman

Kris Tokarski was born and raised just outside of New York City, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Growing up in a Hungarian – American household, he was raised on classical music and Hungarian folk music.

Kris attended and completed his bachelor's degree at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. While there, he would make regular pilgrimages back to New York to study with bebop master, Barry Harris.

In 2011, Tokarski moved to New Orleans to complete a master's degree at the University of New Orleans. Shortly after moving to the "Cradle of Jazz" he embraced the early piano traditions of the city as well as those of the northeast where he grew up. A keen interest in the music of Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, and Teddy Wilson; combined with his bebop roots allowed Tokarski to develop an all encompassing voice of his own, deeply rooted in the jazz piano tradition.

Currently, Tokarski is thriving as an in demand jazz pianist performing throughout the city, country, and abroad. He has performed at notable jazz festivals and venues including the Umbria Winter Jazz Festival, The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the French Quarter Fest, Snug Harbor, The Jazz Corner, and The Green Mill. Kris has had the pleasure of sharing the bandstand with Evan Christopher, Hal Smith, Duke Heitger, Tim Laughlin, Andy Schumm, and many others.