Musicians from Home: Khris Royal featuring Danny Abel

NOMA presents a series of virtual concerts featuring a range of music’s best and brightest performing from their homes. Assembled by internationally renowned multi-instrumentalist and composer Mahmoud Chouki, enjoy these relaxed and informal music experiences with acclaimed musicians from New Orleans and beyond.


Khris Royal was born to be a musician. This young and exceptional New Orleans native began playing the saxophone at seven years old, and producing and writing music at fourteen. Royal’s musical talents were nurtured at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA) High School, in classrooms once shared by jazz greats such as Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Terrence Blanchard, and Donald Harrison. When Royal was only 16, he was granted a full scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, and his career has taken off since then.

To date, Royal has played with hip-hop giants and jazz and funk legends alike, from Lettuce, to Bobby Brown, Alvin Batiste, Ellis Marsalis, Christian Scott, Branford, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis, Tony Clifton, The Sam Kininger Band, and Johnta Austin. The impressive young artist has recorded with Mary J. Blige, Ashanti, Nelly and The Game, Erykah Badu, Goapele, D.J. Quick, and is also featured with the Regiment on Season 2 of The Boondocks. Royal has developed relationships with prominent New Orleans artists as well, such as George Porter Jr., Zigaboo Modeliste, Fred Wesley, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Galactic, and countless more. The range of Khris’ musical relationships is versatile and reflects the scope of his talent. Although Royal continues to expand and develop his craft, from jazz, hip-hop, rock, soul, electronic, funk, R & B, blues, and reggae—musically, there is not much Khris Royal has not already mastered and incorporated into his unique style.

Since coming to New Orleans in 2001, Danny Abel has become one of the most in-demand guitar players in the Crescent City. Originally from Jackson, MS, Danny began playing guitar at the age of 11. Learning to play music in Jackson, he quickly developed a strong sense of blues and got his introduction to jazz, two styles which largely shape his playing today. At the age of 18 Danny moved to New Orleans and began studying jazz performance at UNO, getting the opportunity to study with Steve Masakowski, Hank Mackie, and Ed Petersen, just to name a few. He graduated in 2005 and has stayed in the city, gigging regularly all over town.

Today Danny’s main gig is touring with Tank and The Bangas. You can find him in venues and at festivals all over the world with the band. And when he’s not on tour with TATB you can find him at many venues around New Orleans, playing numerous styles. His diversity is one of his strongest assets and enables him to maintain a full schedule year round. Danny is a core member of live-electronic band Gravity A, in addition to playing with the high energy funk outfit Khris Royal and Dark Matter. Other groups you can catch Danny with include: Pat Casey and the New Sound, Soul Brass Band, Corey Henry & The Treme Funktet, Derrick Freeman & Smoker’s World, Groovesect, etc – this list goes on and on. Additionally, he has had the opportunity to share the stage with many great musicians, including George Porter Jr., Doug Wimbish, Fred Wesley, Nicholas Payton, Stanton Moore, Ike Stubblefield, Terrence Higgins, Nigel Hall, Big Sam Williams, and countless others.

Learn more:
Instagram: @khrisroyal
Instagram: @daguitar

View the full Musicians from Home series


NOMA is committed to uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures through the arts — now more than ever. Your gift will make a direct and immediate impact as NOMA welcomes our community back to the museum and sculpture garden, plans new exhibitions, and develops virtual and at-home arts education resources for school partners.




Education and outreach initiatives at NOMA are supported in part by the Zemurray Foundation; the Lois and Lloyd Hawkins Jr. Foundation; The Helis Foundation; The Gayle and Tom Benson Foundation; The City of New Orleans; IBERIABANK; The Wagner Foundation; Janice Parmelee and Bill Hammack; the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative, funded by the Walton Family Foundation and the Ford Foundation; Sara and David Kelso; Patrick F. Taylor Foundation;  Dr. Scott S. Cowen; The RosaMary Foundation; The Azby Fund; the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency; The Collins C. Diboll Private Foundation; Burkenroad Foundation; Marian Dreux Van Horn Education Endowment; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation;  Ruby K. Worner Trust through the PNC Charitable Trusts Grant Review Committee; The Harry T. Howard III Foundation; New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.; Harvey and Marie Orth; The Bruce J. Heim Foundation; and Mrs. Bennett A. Molter, Jr. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.