February 17, 2009
WVU Parkersburg to host Grammy-winning virtuoso Christian McBride and his band Feb. 27.
CONTACT: Dr. H.G. Young III, professor of music and coordinator of the Distinguished Performance Series, 304-424-8248.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
West Virginia University at Parkersburg will host one of the finest acoustic and electric bass players in jazz today in an 8 p.m. concert on Friday, Feb. 27.
The Christian McBride Band will appear in concert in the College Activities Center as part of WVU Parkersburg's Distinguished Performance Series.
Tickets are available in the college Business Office at $10 for adults and $5 for students with special advance tickets available at $2 for WVU Parkersburg students. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door one hour prior to the concert.
Grammy Award winner McBride has played with the greatest jazz musicians of his generation, including Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Joshua Redman, Wynton Marsalis, Quincy Jones and McCoy Tyner as well as Kathleen Battle, James and Sting.
He is co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem; musical advisory committee member for the Henry Mancini Institute, and former artistic director of the Dave Brubeck Institute. He serves as the LA Philharmonic's creative chair for jazz, overseeing jazz programming at the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall.
His self-named band is one of the hottest ensembles in music with saxophonist Ron Blake, keyboardist Geoffrey Keezer and drummer Terreon Gully.
A native of Philadelphia, electric bass was McBride's first instrument, which he began playing at age 9, followed by acoustic bass two years later. Upon his 1989 graduation from Philadelphia's High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, he was awarded a partial scholarship to attend the world-renowned Juilliard School in New York City to study with the legendary bassist, Homer Mensch. That summer, before making the move to New York, the already in-demand bassist got his first taste of touring going to Europe with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, and traveling the U.S. with the classical jazz fusion group, Free Flight.
McBride never had a chance to settle into his Juilliard studies. Within the first two weeks of the semester, he joined saxophonist Bobby Watson's band, Horizon. He also started working around New York at clubs such as Bradley's and the Village Gate with John Hicks, Kenny Barron, Larry Willis and Gary Bartz. After one year at Juilliard, McBride made the decision to leave school to tour with trumpeter Roy Hargrove's first band, electing "experience with as many musicians as possible" as the best teacher. In August of 1990, he landed a coveted position in trumpeter Freddie Hubbard's band until January of 1993.
In 1991, legendary bassist Ray Brown invited the McBride to join him and John Clayton in the trio SuperBass. After being hailed “Hot Jazz Artist” of 1992 by Rolling Stone, McBride continued to prove it as a member of guitarist Pat Metheny's "Special Quartet," which included drum master Billy Higgins and saxophonist Joshua Redman. While recording and touring with Redman the following year, McBride recorded his first CD as a leader, "Gettin' to It."
McBride recorded several additional CDs in the late 1990s. Pop star Sting invited him to become a key figure in his 2001 "All This Time" CD, DVD and tour. Then, in 2002, McBride supported George Duke by becoming a member of his band and recording on his landmark album "Face the Music." In 2003, McBride released "Vertical Vision," a blazing recording that introduced the current incarnation of the Christian McBride Band.
Over the years, McBride has been featured on hundreds of albums, touring and/or recording with artists such as David Sanborn, Chick Corea, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, George Benson, and the late greats Joe Henderson, Betty Carter and Milt Jackson.
The concert is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, the National Endowment for the Arts, and American Masterpieces initiative, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. Additional support is provided by Artsbridge and the WVU Parkersburg Social Justice Committee.