1978-'82 : Student at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Antwerpen, ancient music and flute, with a.o. Koen Dieltiens, Balderick Deerenberg en Jos Van Immerseel.
1982-'87 : at the Conservatoire Royal de Liège, contemporary music and jazz with a.o. Dennis Luxion, Borah Bergman, Frederic Rzewski, Garrett List, Philippe Boesmans, Henri Pousseur...
1984 : Wins jazz-competition of the Province of Liège with the quintet Diva Smiles.
1986 : 1st recording, LP, 'Diva Smiles'.
1987-'90 : In New York Long Island University Brooklyn with Fullbright Grant.
- CD recording with Vincent Herring and Jack DeJohnette
- World tour with Lionel Hampton Big Band
- Worked together with Ron MacLure, Barry Altschul, Adam Nussbaum, Mike Formanek, Tito Puente, ...
1991 : Founding of K.D.'s Pretty Big Basement Party with as guests Judy Niemack and David Linx
- Tour through Belgium, The Netherlands and France with his own ensemble K.D.'s Basement Party
- Award for composing/arranging by the Spes Foundation.
1992 : Start of collaboration with the De Werf art center in his hometown Brugge
1993 : Recording of 'K.D.'s Decade Live' (W.E.R.F. 004). An improvising trio around current 'standards',
mostly pop songs
- Tour with K.D.'S Basement Party and K.D.'s Decade
- Creation and tour of the De Aftelling (music
- theater piece by Jan Vromman).
1994 : Composed and arrangements for the album 'Chromatic History' with
Octurn (W.E.R.F. 002).
1995 : Creation of "Variations on A Love Supreme" with Fabrizio Cassol.
- Première of the project presented at Jazz Middelheim festival with a group of eleven, followed by a tour and live recording by the European Radio Union
- CD recording of 'Variations on A Love Supreme' (W.E.R.F. 005) and a tour
- CD recording 'Deep in The Deep' (Antoine Prawerman)
- CD recording 'The Unbearable Light' (Garrett List).
1996 : Composing and recording of 'Ocean' with Octurn (W.E.R.F. 008),
- tour with Lee Konitz
- tour with Mark Turner
- Tour with project 'Variations on A Love Supreme'.
1997 : tour with Mark Turner & Lee Konitz
- CD recording with Mark Turner (released October 1998)
- CD recording 'Voyage' (Garrett List)
- CD recording of ''Snake ear' with Deep in the Deep (Antoine Prawerman)
- CD recording with Aka Moon, 'Elohim'.
Creation of his large ensemble "DREAMTIME".
In '98, Kris DEFOORT was elected best Belgian keyboard player of the year '98 in the Belgian critics poll (French speaking).
In April '99, Kris DEFOORT releases a double CD, titled Passages (Werf 014-015), the first CD in quartet, the second featuring the music he wrote for his Dreamtime band and a ballet by Fatou TRAORE.
Kris DEFOORT is considered one of the major composers of avant-garde jazz in Belgium.
In 2001, he wrote an opera, titled "The Woman Who Walked Into Doors" upon, based upon the book of Irish writer Roddy Doyle. Created in Brussels for the famous TRM (Monnaie), it was a multimedia experience involving a singer, an actress, a classical chamber orchestra, some jazz musicians and video projections.
In 2002 Kris Defoort created Conversations with the Past, a work for wind instruments, piano, harp, double bass and percussion, commissioned by the Filharmonie (Antwerp). In the same year he presented Sound Plaza, a jazz cd with saxophonist Mark Turner, bass player Nic Thys and drummer Jim Black.
In 2003 he created his String quartet n°1 together with ConVerSations/ConSerVations, a project based on Renaissance music. Together with soprano Claron McFadden, Dreamtime and Quatuor Danel, Kris Defoort sought once again a synthesis between old and new, classical and jazz.
Since 2005 Kris Defoort has worked on various projects. As an artist in residence at the arts centre BOZAR in the 2006-2007 season, every aspect of his musicianship has been shown: as an improvising pianist and a composer. For example, Jan Michiels created his piano cycle Dedicatio (nine musical letters)in December 2006. Kris Defoort also has been commissioned by the 2007 Queen Elizabeth Competition to write the compulsory contest piece for solo piano: Dedicatio 6; Treasure of Emotions (to Keith Garrett).
On the 8th of May 2009 the world premiere of his second opera House of the Sleeping Beauties (production LOD, Toneelhuis, la Monnaie), directed by Guy Cassiers, took place at La Monnaie Brussels. Currently Kris Defoort is working on Brodsky Concerts, a piece based on the writings by Joseph Brodsky, in which he will be on stage together with the actor Dirk Roofthooft. Meanwhile, Kris Defoort keeps performing as an improviser/pianist in different constellations.
Kris Defoort teaches composition, arrangement and free improvisation at the Brussels Royal Music Conservatory.