AND EDGAR MEYER
FEBRUARY 25, 2021 | 7:30 PM
Six-time GRAMMY-winning jazz bassist Christian McBride can be likened to a force of nature, fusing the fire and fury of a virtuoso with the depth and grounding of a seasoned journeyman. With a career now blazing into its third decade, the Philadelphia native has become one of the most requested, most recorded, and most respected figures in the music world today.
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.
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.”
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.
He is also a respected educator and advocate. He has been named Artistic Director of the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Sessions (2000) and the Newport Jazz Festival (2016), co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (2005), and the Second Creative Chair for Jazz of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (2005).
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.
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.
From jazz (McCoy Tyner, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny) to R&B (Isaac Hayes, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, and the one and only Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown) to pop/rock (Sting, Paul McCartney, Carly Simon) to hip-hop/neo-soul (The Roots, Queen Latifah) to classical (Kathleen Battle, Edgar Meyer, Shanghai 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.
In demand as both a performer and a composer, Edgar Meyer has formed a role in the music world unlike any other. Hailed by The New Yorker as “…the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively un-chronicled history of his instrument”, Mr. Meyer’s unparalleled technique and musicianship in combination with his gift for composition have brought him to the fore, where he is appreciated by a vast, varied audience. His uniqueness in the field was recognized by a MacArthur Award in 2002.
In 2007, recognizing his wide-ranging recording achievements, Sony/BMG released a compilation of The Best of Edgar Meyer. In 2011 Mr. Meyer joined cellist Yo-Yo Ma, mandolinist Chris Thile, and fiddler Stuart Duncan for the Sony Masterworks recording The Goat Rodeo Sessions which was awarded the 2012 GRAMMY Award for Best Folk Album.
Mr. Meyer began studying bass at the age of five under the instruction of his father and continued further to study with Stuart Sankey. In 1994 he received the Avery Fisher Career Grant and in 2000 became the only bassist to receive the Avery Fisher Prize. Currently, he is Visiting Professor of Double Bass at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.