Jazz Luminary Christian McBride Performs with the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra

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Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra with Christian McBride performs at the Center on October 28.
Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra with Christian McBride performs at the Center on October 28.

“Mixing Big Band Jazz with James Brown Soul” (The Observer), eight-time GRAMMY Award-winning bassist Christian McBride joins Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra on October 28 at the Center for the Arts. Met Jazz will be led by founder, artistic director, and virtuoso saxophonist Jim Carroll, in an unforgettable night of bravado, improvisation, and jazz swagger. A pre-performance discussion will be held on Monson Grand Tier (third floor of the Center) 45 minutes prior to curtain. Following the concert, audience members are invited to gather in the lobby and enjoy performances by Mason Jazz students, with drinks available for purchase.

With training from New York’s Juilliard School of Music and a deep passion for music, Christian McBride has become a household name in the jazz scene for his association with a variety of incredible artistic projects and experiences. One may recognize his velvety voice from one of his two radio shows, “The Lowdown: Conversations With Christian” on SiriusXM satellite radio or National Public Radio (NPR)’s “Jazz Night in America,” a weekly radio show and multimedia collaboration between WBGO, NPR, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. This September, McBride joined singer-songwriter Norah Jones and Questlove on Jones’ podcast, Norah Jones Is Playing Along, to collaborate with the two artists for a new song, “Why Am I Treated So Bad." McBride notes, “I already knew working with Norah and Ahmir [Questlove] would be amazing, but I didn’t know just how amazing it was going to be! Norah proved herself to be quite a funk/soul queen.” The new song can be listened to in a recent article from Bass Magazine

Along with the many artistic collaborations McBride has participated in, he recently released an album, Prime, on which he is joined by his band, New Jawn. Though this is only his second album with group, this is his 18th as a bandleader with other ensembles of his including the Christian McBride Band (his longest-running group) and the Christian McBride Big Band. Watch a preview of his newest album with the song “Moon Child” which Jazz Journal notes, “leads in a demonstrative way but never overshadows, leaving the others plenty of space to shine.” 

Wanting to create a welcoming environment for young people interested in jazz, McBride joins his wife, vocalist Melissa Walker, in her community arts organization JAZZ HOUSE KiDS as artistic director. Identified by the JazzTimes as “one of the most successful and respected jazz education programs in the country,” JAZZ HOUSE KiDS dedicates its efforts to educating children through jazz, bringing internationally renowned jazz performers to teach alongside a professional staff, and offering students a wide range of creative programming that develops musical potential, enhances leadership skills, and strengthens academic performance. In a 2023 interview with Forbes Magazine, McBride states, “[W]e have a duty to teach the younger people. . . I love going places where you see parents bringing their 13- or 14-year-old kids to the show.”  

Want to experience the future of jazz in action? Join George Mason University jazz students and faculty for a collection of fantastic fall performances such as 22nd annual Jazz4Justice: Celebrating The Legacy of Anthony Maiello on October 14 as well as the Mason Jazz Workshop Concert on November 1, Mason Jazz Vocal Night on November 6, and Mason Jazz Ensemble on November 9. 

Audiences won't want to miss McBride's "top-notch musicianship, uncommon technique, and refined taste" (Jazz Trail) this month! Get your tickets now and witness McBride’s larger-than-life sound and bold technical style paired with the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra on October 28.