Groove – Episode #49: Christian McBride
Christian McBride is the renaissance man of the bass. The six-time Grammy-winning bassist is powered by a relentless drive to keep the instrument and his love of jazz alive for one and all. He works at a frenetic pace in a myriad of ways.
The Philadelphia native has done more for the instrument than most. He has appeared on more than 300 recordings. Christian was named to the position of Creative Chair for Jazz with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He was signed to a two-year contract that was renewed for an additional two years (he was succeeded by Herbie Hancock in 2010). In 1997, 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, co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, the Second Creative Chair for Jazz of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, and Artistic Advisor for Jazz Programming at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Currently, he hosts and produces The Lowdown – Conversations With Christian on SiriusXM satellite radio and National Public Radio’s Jazz Night in America.
Rounding this out is his work with Jazz House Kids – a community arts organization founded by his wife, vocalist Melissa Walker and dedicated to educating children through jazz. And, Christian is not just about jazz music. From R&B (Isaac Hayes, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, James Brown) to pop/rock (Sting, Paul McCartney, Carly Simon, Don Henley, Bruce Hornsby) to hip-hop (The Roots, D’Angelo, Queen Latifah) to classical (Kathleen Battle, Edgar Meyer, Shanghai Quartet, Sonus Quartet), he is a bassist in high demand, and is always looking to reach higher heights.
Most recently, he released New Jawn.
Enjoy the conversation…