Kori Wallace is a multi-instrumentalist, composer/arranger, and writer currently based in Atlanta, Georgia. In his professional career, he has been featured on National Public Radio, performed in the FedEx Forum, The Orpheum Theater, The Stevens Center, American Airlines Arena, and The Adrianne Arsht Center for Performing Arts, to name a few. He has also worked with Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Boo Mitchell, and Danga; and has arranged music for the Whalum family and produced for local and international recording artists at Young Avenue Sound.
Kori began his musical journey on the saxophone through the middle school band program in his hometown of Miami. He soon began to teach himself the piano, and a few percussion instruments and was arranging and writing music very soon after. At the ripe age of 16, he had already become the youngest member of the Miami Heat Street Band, was a finalist with the internationally-touring Florida Singing Sons Boys Choir, and was a two-time gold medalist at the Miami-Dade NAACP ACT-SO competition. Kori’s family then moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he closed his high school tenure as a member of the All-State Tennessee Jazz Ensemble, Louis Armstrong Jazz Award winner, and a recipient of the Lanita Smith Music Foundation Scholarship for Music Production.
Kori studied jazz and studio performance at the University of Memphis’ Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. At UofM, he went on to write music for the jazz department, while also being a lead composer for Mayor Jim Strickland’s MLK50 Hip Hop symphony, hosted at the Cannon Center. Through his work at UofM and throughout Memphis’s creative scene, Kori began his career as a teaching artist in multiple disciplines. He has taught forms of music and writing for major organizations such as the Stax Music Academy, Crosstown Arts, the Memphis Jazz Workshop, Juvenile Intervention and Faith-Based Follow-Up (JIFF), and many schools at all levels.
His philosophy employs unorthodox methods to develop expression through creativity has resulted in his students earning better grades, college scholarships, and performance experiences as competitors and professionals. The mission is to teach life through art, to create art that changes lives. This ideal is most reflected in his work as a bandleader. Through concerts, residencies, and partnerships, Kori’s group has established a presence across the south as impactful performers and engaging servants of their audiences.