Christian McBride

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Christian McBride
Bassist Christian McBride.jpg
McBride at the 2009 Detroit Jazz Festival
Background information
Born (1972-05-31) May 31, 1972 (age 50)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion, big band
Instrument(s)Double bass, bass guitar
Years active1989–present
Labels Verve, Warner Bros., Ropeadope, Mack Avenue

Christian McBride (born May 31, 1972) is an American jazz bassist, composer and arranger. He has appeared on more than 300 recordings as a sideman, and is an eight-time Grammy Award winner.


McBride has performed and recorded with a number of jazz musicians and ensembles, including Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Joe Henderson, Diana Krall, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Eddie Palmieri, Joshua Redman, and Ray Brown's "SuperBass" with John Clayton, as well as with pop, hip-hop, soul and classical musicians like Sting, Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, Isaac Hayes, The Roots, [1] Queen Latifah, Kathleen Battle, Renee Fleming, Carly Simon, Bruce Hornsby, and James Brown.

Early life

McBride was born in Philadelphia on May 31, 1972. [2] After starting on bass guitar, McBride switched to double bass. He is a graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, and studied at the Juilliard School. [3]

Later life and career

McBride, left with Jimmy Heath Christian McBride & Jimmy Heath.jpg
McBride, left with Jimmy Heath

McBride was heralded as a teen prodigy when he joined saxophonist Bobby Watson's group, Horizon, at the age of 17. From age 17 to 22, McBride played in the bands of older musicians such as Watson, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, George Duke, Milt Jackson, J. J. Johnson and Hank Jones, as well as his peers such as Roy Hargrove, Benny Green, and Joshua Redman. In 1996, jazz bassist Ray Brown formed a group called SuperBass with McBride and fellow Brown protégé John Clayton. The group released two albums: SuperBass: Live at Scullers (1997) and SuperBass 2: Live at the Blue Note (2001).

McBride was a member of saxophonist Joshua Redman's Quartet in the early 1990s with pianist Brad Mehldau and drummer Brian Blade. McBride began leading his own groups in 1995 after the release of his debut album Gettin' to It (Verve). Saxophonist Tim Warfield, pianists Charles Craig and Joey Calderazzo, and drummers Carl Allen and Greg Hutchinson are among the musicians who played in McBride's early groups. From 2000 to 2008, McBride led his own ensemble, the Christian McBride Band, with saxophonist Ron Blake, pianist/keyboardist Geoffrey Keezer, and drummer Terreon Gully. The band released two albums: Vertical Vision (Warner Bros., 2003) and Live at Tonic (Ropeadope, 2006).

In 1996, McBride contributed to the AIDS benefit album Offbeat: A Red Hot Soundtrip produced by the Red Hot Organization.

McBride primarily plays double bass, but he is equally adept on bass guitar. He played both on the album The Philadelphia Experiment , which included keyboardist Uri Caine and hip-hop drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson. [4] Other projects have included tours and recordings with the Pat Metheny Trio, the Bruce Hornsby Trio, and Queen Latifah. Like Paul Chambers, McBride can solo by playing his bass arco style.

In 2006, McBride was named to the position of Creative Chair for Jazz with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, taking over from Dianne Reeves. He was signed to a two-year contract that was renewed for an additional two years. He was succeeded by Herbie Hancock in 2010. [5]

McBride performed with Sonny Rollins and Roy Haynes at Carnegie Hall on September 18, 2007, in commemoration of Rollins' 50th anniversary of his first performance there. [6] McBride was also tapped by CBS to be a producer for the tribute to Rollins on the 2011 Kennedy Center Honors broadcast.

In 2008, McBride joined John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Kenny Garrett and Vinnie Colaiuta in a jazz fusion supergroup called the Five Peace Band. They released an album in February 2009 and completed their world tour in May of that year, as Brian Blade took over for Vinnie Colaiuta as drummer in Asia and some US concerts. The album Five Peace Band Live won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group

In 2011 McBride released his first big band album, The Good Feeling , for which he won the Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance.

McBride leads five groups: Inside Straight, featuring alto/soprano saxophonist Steve Wilson, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, pianist Peter Martin and drummer Carl Allen; a trio featuring pianist Christian Sands and drummer Jerome Jennings; his 18-piece big band; an experimental group called A Christian McBride Situation with pianist/keyboardist Patrice Rushen, turntablists DJ Logic and Jahi Sundance, saxophonist Ron Blake and vocalist Alyson Williams; [7] and the New Jawn, featuring trumpeter Josh Evans, saxophonist Marcus Strickland, and drummer Nasheet Waits.

In March 2016, McBride was named artistic director of the Newport Jazz Festival, succeeding the festival's founder and artistic director, George Wein.

McBride hosts NPR's radio show, Jazz Night In America. [8]

Personal life

Christian is married to jazz singer and educator Melissa Walker. Walker, with contributions by McBride, leads the Jazz House Kids, a jazz school in their home town of Montclair, New Jersey. Each summer, they both appear at the Montclair Jazz Festival, along with student ensembles led by the instructors, professional ensembles composed of instructors, and guest acts.

McBride shared the story of his first encounters with Freddie Hubbard in "The Gig" and his relationship with James Brown in "Mr. Soul On Top" on The Moth Radio Hour , a radio show and podcast devoted to story-telling. [9]


As leader

1994 Gettin' to It Verve
1995 Number Two Express Verve
1998 A Family Affair Verve
2000 SciFi Verve
2000 The Philadelphia Experiment Ropeadope
2002 Vertical Vision Warner Bros.
2005 Live at Tonic Ropeadope
2009 Kind of Brown Mack Avenue
2011 The Good Feeling Mack Avenue Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
2011 Conversations with Christian Mack Avenue
2013 People Music Mack Avenue
2013 Out Here Mack Avenue
2015 Live at the Village Vanguard Mack Avenue Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo
2017 Bringin' It Mack AvenueGrammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
2018 Christian McBride's New Jawn Mack Avenue
2020 The Movement Revisited Mack Avenue
2020 For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver Mack Avenue
2021 Live at the Village Vanguard Mack Avenue
2023PrimeMack Avenue


As sideman

Main artistAlbum titleYearNotes
Wallace Roney Obsession 1990
Gary Bartz Shadows 1991
Ricky Ford Hot Brass 1991
Benny Green Greens1991
Roy Hargrove Public Eye1991
Houston Person The Lion and His Pride 1991released 1994
Joe Henderson Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn 1992(Henderson won a Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo)
Benny GreenThat's Right!1992
Benny GreenTestifyin': Live at the Village Vanguard1992
Freddie Hubbard Live at Fat Tuesday's 1992
Etta Jones Reverse the Charges 1992
Mulgrew Miller Hand in Hand 1992
Benny Carter Legends 1993
Chris Potter Presenting Chris Potter 1993
Joshua Redman Joshua Redman 1993
Joe Lovano Tenor Legacy 1993
Harold Mabern Lookin' on the Bright Side 1993
Harold Mabern The Leading Man 1993
Wallace Roney Munchin' 1993
David Sanborn Pearls 1994
Peter Bernstein Signs of Life 1994
Don Braden After Dark 1994
Teddy Edwards Tango in Harlem 1994
Benny Green The Place To Be 1994
Joshua Redman Moodswing 1994
Brad Mehldau Introducing Brad Mehldau 1995
Roy HargroveFamily1995
Fleurine Meant to be 1995
Joe Lovano Quartets: Live at the Village Vanguard 1995
Joe Henderson Double Rainbow: The Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim 1995
Diana Krall Only Trust Your Heart 1995
Jimmy Smith Damn! 1995
McCoy Tyner Prelude and Sonata 1995
Michael Wolff Jumpstart1995
Cedar Walton Composer 1996
Jimmy Smith Angel Eyes: Ballads & Slow Jams 1996
Harold Mabern Mabern's Grooveyard 1996
Joe Henderson Big Band 1996
McCoy Tyner What the World Needs Now: The Music of Burt Bacharach 1997
Diana Krall Love Scenes 1997
Renee Rosnes As We Are Now 1997
Chick Corea Remembering Bud Powell 1997
McBride/Payton/WhitfieldFingerpainting: The Music of Herbie Hancock1997
Frank Foster Leo Rising 1997
Michael Wolff2AM1997
Freddie HubbardGod Bless the Child1998
George Duke After Hours1998
Yutaka Shiina United1998
Benny GreenThese Are Soulful Days1999
Benny GreenNaturally2000
Harold Mabern Maya with Love 2000
Eliane Elias Everything I Love 2000
Diana Krall The Look of Love 2001
Jim Hall Jim Hall & Basses 2001
Sting All This Time 2001
Chick Corea Rendezvous in New York 2002
George Duke Face the Music2002
Diana Krall Live in Paris 2002
Sting Sacred Love 2003
David Sanborn Time Again 2003
Pat Martino Think Tank 2003
Diana Krall The Girl in the Other Room 2004
Regina Belle Lazy Afternoon 2004
McCoy Tyner Illuminations 2004 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album
David SanbornCloser2005
Chris Botti To Love Again: The Duets 2005
George Duke Duke 2005
Pat Metheny & Antonio Sanchez Day Trip 2005
Eddie Palmieri Listen Here! 2005
Chris Botti December 2006
Chick CoreaSuper Trio: Corea/Gadd/McBride2006
Hank Jones West of 5th2006
Bruce Hornsby Camp Meeting 2007
Chris Botti Italia 2007
Chick CoreaChillin' In Chelan2007
Joshua Redman Back East 2007
McCoy Tyner Quartet 2007
David Sanborn Here and Gone 2008
Queen Latifah Trav'lin' Light 2008
Pat Metheny & Antonio Sanchez Tokyo Day Trip 2008
George Duke Dukey Treats 2008
James Carter Heaven on Earth 2009
Chick Corea and John McLaughlin Five Peace Band Live 2009Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album
Paul McCartney Kisses on the Bottom 2012
Chick Corea Trilogy 2013Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album
George Duke DreamWeaver 2013
Joseph Tawadros Permission to Evaporate 2014
Peter Bernstein Signs Live! 2015
Diana Krall Wallflower 2015
Craig Taborn Flaga: Book of Angels Volume 27 2016Part of John Zorn's Book of Angels series
Diana Krall Turn Up the Quiet 2017
Joshua Redman RoundAgain 2020
Joshua Redman LongGone 2022

See also

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  1. Archived April 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. Carroll, Daniel John (January 13, 2015), McBride, Christian, Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.A2276046
  3. Yanow, Scott. "Christian McBride: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved January 2, 2011.
  4. Alder, David R. "Philadelphia Experiment". AllMusic. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  5. "Christian McBride bio" (PDF). Los Angeles Philharmonic. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 26, 2008. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
  6. "Garnegie Hall official website". Archived from the original on June 16, 2010. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  7. "Newport Jawn: PostGenre Interview with Christian McBride". July 26, 2021.
  8. "Jazz Night in America: The Radio Program". NPR .
  9. The Moth, February 10, 2011.