Philadelphia native and renowned bassist Christian McBride served as the first Artistic Director of the Brubeck Institute. In that role he set both the educational and artistic standards for the Institute, and especially for the Fellowship Program. He is still a frequent visitor to campus and works with the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet in private lessons, ensemble coaching, and advising about professional life as a jazz musician.
Christian has played with countless artists across the musical spectrum, from McCoy Tyner and Sting to Diana Krall. His hundreds of concert performances span the globe, and his recordings, both as a leader and member of other groups are diverse in style and brilliant in excecution. But his accomplishments as a player are only part of what makes him such a highly respected artist. In addition to his artistic director post at the Brubeck Institute, he has held similar positions at Jazz Aspen Snowmass and the Jazz Museum in Harlem. He is currently serving as the Creative Chair for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. And, he is a member of the Honorary Board of the Friends of the Brubeck Institute.
For his commitment to and advancement of the music and ideas of Dave Brubeck through his tireless advocacy for jazz, inspired teaching, and exceptional and innovative performance, Christian McBride was named the recipient of the 2010 Brubeck Institute Award for Distinguished Achievement.