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Christian McBride

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Biography

As a fixture on the US jazz scene since the 1990s, bass player Christian McBride – born on May 31, 1972, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - has performed with some of the biggest artists in the world including Paul McCartney, James Brown, and Sting. He has also led his own groups and picked up five Grammy Awards. Christian McBride followed in the footsteps of his father and great uncle and took up playing the bass at a young age, before honing his craft at Juilliard School in New York. Getting his start with saxophonist Bobby Watson's band when he was 17, he went on to tour with Milt Jackson, Freddie Hubbard, and Benny Green before releasing his debut album Get It On in 1994 through Verve Records. Funkier and more influenced by R&B than most jazz acts, Christian McBride recorded albums with Ray Brown's SuperBass group in the late 1990s and was part of a younger generation of artists sometimes dubbed 'The Young Lions of Neo-Bop.’ His loose, signature stand-up bass licks were further refined on the modern swing album Number Two Express (1996) and the Bootsy Collins-inspired A Family Affair (1998). In 2009, he paid tribute to his friend and mentor Ray Brown on the acclaimed Kind of Brown. He also became a regular sideman for Diana Krall, McCoy Tyner, and Chick Corea and put a big band orchestra together for the swaggering, New Orleans-flavored The Good Feeling (2011), for which he won the Grammy Award for Best Large Ensemble Jazz Album. In more recent times, he has hosted his own podcast and become artistic director of the Newport Jazz Festival, and in 2017, reformed his big band for the jumping swing party Bringin' It. Further albums included The Movement Revisited (2020), Prime (2023), and But Who’s Gonna Play the Melody? (2024), which was a collaboration with fellow bassist Edgar Meyer.