Red Light Management

Christian McBride

Artist Bio

Raised in Philadelphia, a city steeped in sould, Christian McBride moved to New York in 1989 to pursue classical studies at the Juilliard School. There he was promptly recruited to the road by saxophonist Bobby Watson. Call it a change in curriculum: a decade’s worth of study through hundreds of recording sessions and countless gigs with an ever-expanding circle of musicians. He was finding his voice, and others were learning to listen for it.

In 2000 the lessons of the road came together in the formation of what would become his longest-running project, the Christian McBride Band. Praised by writer Alan Leeds as “one of the most intoxicating, least predictable bands on the scene today,” the CMB—saxophonist Ron Blake, keyboardist Geoffrey Keezer, and drummer Terreon Gully—have been collectively evolving McBride’s all-inclusive, forward-thinking outlook on music through their incendiary live shows, as chronicled on 2006’s Live at Tonic. Part excursion, part education, the CMB is a vehicle built on a framework of experience and powered by unfettered creativity: a mesmerizing dance on the edge of an electro-acoustic fault line.

In 2009 McBride began focusing this same energy through a more traditional lens with the debut of his critically-acclaimed Inside Straight quintet, and again with the Christian McBride Big Band, whose 2012 release The Good Feeling won the GRAMMY for Best Large Ensemble Jazz Album. As his career entered its third decade, McBride added the role of mentor, tapping rising stars pianist Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. for the Christian McBride Trio’s GRAMMY-nominated album  Out Here.

He is also a respected educator and advocate, first noted in 1997 when he spoke on former President Bill Clinton’s town hall meeting “Racism in the Performing Arts.” He has since been named Artistic Director of the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Sessions (2000), co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (2005), and the Second Creative Chair for Jazz of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (2005).

In 1998 he combined roles, composing “The Movement, Revisited,” a four-movement suite dedicated to four of the major figures of the civil rights movement: Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The piece was commissioned by the Portland (ME) Arts Society and the National Endowment for the Arts, and performed throughout New England in the fall of 1998 with McBride’s quartet and a 30-piece gospel choir. For its tenth anniversary, “The Movement, Revisited” was expanded, rewritten, and revamped to feature an 18-piece big band and four actors/speakers in addition to the gospel choir. It was performed in Los Angeles at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and praised by the Los Angeles Times as “a work that was admirable—to paraphrase Dr. King—for both the content of its music and the character of its message.”

Currently he hosts and produces “The Lowdown: Conversations With Christian” on SiriusXM satellite radio and National Public Radio’s “Jazz Night in America,” a weekly radio show and multimedia collaboration between WBGO, NPR and Jazz at Lincoln Center, showcasing outstanding live jazz from across the country. With his staggering body of work, McBride is the ideal host, drawing on history, experience, and a gift for storytelling to bridge the gap between artist, music, and audience. He brings that same breadth of experience to bear as Artistic Advisor for Jazz Programming at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC).

Completing the circle is his work with Jazz House Kids, the nationally recognized community arts organization founded by his wife, vocalist Melissa Walker.  Exclusively dedicated to educating children through jazz, the “Jazz House” concept brings internationally renowned jazz performers to teach alongside a professional staff, offering students a wide range of creative programming that develops musical potential, enhances leadership skills, and strengthens academic performance. This shared celebration of America’s original musical art form cultivates tomorrow’s community leaders and global citizens while preserving its rich legacy for future generations.

Whether behind the bass or away from it, Christian McBride is always of the music. From jazz (Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Rollins, J.J. Johnson, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson, McCoy Tyner, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, to R&B (Isaac Hayes, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, Lalah Hathaway, and the one and only Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown) to pop/rock (Sting, Paul McCartney, Carly Simon, Don Henley, Bruce Hornsby) to hip-hop/neo-soul (The Roots, D’Angelo, Queen Latifah) to classical  (Kathleen Battle, Edgar Meyer, Shanghai Quartet, Sonus Quartet), he is a luminary with one hand ever reaching for new heights, and the other extended in fellowship—and perhaps the hint of a challenge—inviting us to join him.

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Tour Dates

Aug 20 2022
Skaneateles Festival
Skaneateles, NY
Sep 03 2022
The John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival 2022
High Point, NC
Sep 04 2022
DC Jazz Festival 2022
Southwest, DC
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Sep 13 2022
Blue Note Jazz Club
New York, NY
Sep 14 2022
Blue Note Jazz Club
New York, NY
Sep 15 2022
Blue Note Jazz Club
New York, NY
Sep 16 2022
Blue Note Jazz Club
New York, NY
Sep 17 2022
Blue Note Jazz Club
New York, NY
Sep 18 2022
Blue Note Jazz Club
New York, NY
Sep 22 2022
Northridge, CA
Sep 23 2022
San Francisco, CA
Sep 24 2022
Monterey Jazz Festival
Monterey, CA
Sep 25 2022
Charles Krug Winery
St. Helena, CA
Sep 27 2022
Moss Arts Center
Blacksburg, VA
Oct 22 2022
Kölner Philharmonie
Cologne, Germany
Oct 23 2022
Philharmonie Luxembourg
Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Oct 25 2022
Alfried Krupp Saal
Essen, Germany
Oct 26 2022
Barcelona Jazz Festival 2022
Barcelona, Spain
Oct 29 2022
Elbphilharmonie Hamburg
Hamburg, Germany
Nov 01 2022
The Concertgebouw
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nov 02 2022
Lucerna Great Hall
Praha, Czech Republic
Nov 03 2022
Müpa Budapest
Budapest, Hungary
Nov 05 2022
Wiener Konzerthaus
Bezirk-landstrasse, Austria
Nov 07 2022
Auditorium-Orchestre National de Lyon
Lyon, France
Nov 08 2022
Bruxelles, Belgium
Nov 10 2022
Paris, France
Nov 11 2022
Zürich, Switzerland
Nov 12 2022
De Oosterpoort
Da Groningen, Netherlands
Nov 14 2022
Barbican Centre
London, United Kingdom
Nov 19 2022
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Newark, NJ
Jan 06 2023
The Jazz Cruise 2023
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Jan 13 2023
Blue Note at Sea
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Feb 24 2023
The Lincoln Center
Fort Collins, CO
Mar 04 2023
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
San Antonio, TX
Apr 29 2023
Irvine Barclay Theatre
Irvine, CA





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