One of the most exciting jazz artists of the modern era, bassist Christian McBride has redefined both his instrument and the perceived boundaries of jazz itself. Unafraid to dip his toes into R&B, funk, pop, fusion or big band, McBride’s massive technical and compositional skills have launched him into the rarified air of bonafide jazz masters.
Beginning in 1989, this Philadelphia-born bassist moved to New York City to further his classical studies at the Juilliard School, only to be snatched up by alto saxophonist, Bobby Watson. Since then, McBride’s list of accomplishments has been nothing short of staggering. For over 20 years, McBride has appeared in numerous musical settings with just about any musician imaginable in jazz as well as R&B and pop worlds. From playing with the likes of Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Pat Metheny to Isaac Hayes, Bruce Hornsby, Sting and the legendary James Brown to opera legend Kathleen Battle and bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer—what has always been unique about McBride is his versatility.
Since the mid 90’s, McBride has blazed a trail as a bandleader with a host of different groups and projects, his various bandmates all sympathetically sharing in McBride’s all-inclusive, forward-thinking outlook on music. McBride’s own projects and ensembles include his Big Band, his Trio, an ensemble called New Jawn (which is highlighted in his most recent release, Christian McBride’s New Jawn) and this particular evening’s band, Tip City, which includes pianist Emmet Cohen and guitarist Dan Wilson.
McBride is also the Artistic Director of the Newport Jazz Festival, a position held since 2016.