Jazz By Starlight Night One

Jazz By Starlight Night One

Jazz By Starlight Features Christian McBride, Jeff  ‘Tain” Watts, Christian Sands + Ravi Coltrane

Jazz By Starlight features Christian McBride, Jeff  ‘Tain” Watts, Christian Sands + Ravi Coltrane on night one of the JAZZ HOUSE KiDS benefit event. When the COVID-19 shutdowns began, JAZZ HOUSE KiDS quickly pivoted to online programming, and has since served hundreds of students, provided teaching and performance gigs for 60 musicians, and engaged over 400,000 virtual jazz fans worldwide. Help us continue to play through the changes by donating to the JAZZ HOUSE KiDS RESiLiENCY FUND.


Bassist extraordinaire, composer, arranger, jazz educator, arts administrator—capably wearing all these hats has helped make Christian McBride one of the most important and omnipresent figures in the jazz world for more than 25 years. Named artistic director of the revered Newport Jazz Festival in 2017, McBride also serves as Artistic Chair for JAZZ HOUSE KiDS, Artistic Director of the MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL, Co-Artistic Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and Artistic Advisor for Jazz Programming at NJPAC. All this offstage action runs alongside a packed performing and recording schedule: With more than 350 recordings under his belt, he won a sixth GRAMMY Award in 2018 in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category, for Bringin’ It (Mack Avenue), his second recording with The Christian McBride Big Band. His latest Christian McBride Big Band album, For Jimmy, Wes Montgomery and Oliver, was released in 2020 by Mack Avenue and is a tribute to Jimmy Smith, Wes Montgomery and Oliver Nelson.

Christian McBride

McBride consistently combines his deft musicianship with an innate ability to communicate his enthusiasm to an audience—a warm showmanship that transforms his own passion into infectious joy. This comes across whether he’s leading his own bands; sharing the stage with jazz legends such as Sonny Rollins, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, or Pat Metheny; accompanying pop giants James Brown, Sting or The Roots; or collaborating with classical masters such as Renee Fleming, Kathleen Battle, Edgar Meyer or the Shanghai Quartet. He currently leads several different groups including his big band, New Jawn, the Christian McBride Trio, and Inside Straight. In the studio, he hosts and produces the radio shows “The Lowdown: Conversations With Christian” on SiriusXM, and NPR’s “Jazz Night in America.”


Ravi Coltrane is a critically acclaimed Grammy-nominated saxophonist, bandleader, and composer. In the course of a 20+ year career, Coltrane has worked as a sideman to many, recorded noteworthy albums for himself and others and founded a prominent independent record label, RKM. The son of John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane, Ravi was raised in Los Angeles where his family moved after his father’s death in 1967. Alice Coltrane, was a significant influence on Ravi and it was he who encouraged Alice to return to performance and the recording studio after a long absence. Subsequently, Ravi produced and played on Alice Coltrane’s powerful, Translinear Light, which was released in 2004.

Ravi Coltrane

Ravi has released six albums as a leader. His latest, Spirit Fiction, was released in 2012 for the Blue Note label. Additional credits include performances as well as recordings with Elvin Jones, Terence Blanchard, Kenny Baron, Steve Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Jack DeJohnette, Matt Garrison, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Geri Allen, Joanne Brackeem, The Blue Note 7, among others. He is a co-leader of the Saxophone Summit with Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman. Ravi lives in Brooklyn, NY and maintains a fast-paced touring, recording, composing and performance schedule.


Jeff Watts, the drummer they call “Tain,” is a true jazz innovator, never failing to deliver the percussive magic that has been his trademark since his emergence on the contemporary jazz scene. Along with explosive power, blinding speed and mastery of complex rhythms and time signatures, Watts brings a rare sense of elegance, tried-by- fire composure, and a gritty street funk to his music. His artistic ingenuity expresses itself in his incomparable technique, sweltering sense of swing, and an extraordinary ability to imbue his music with majestic grace and elegant repose.

Jeff "Tain" Watts

Watts spent his formative years with Wynton and Branford Marsalis, earning three GRAMMY Awards with the Wynton Marsalis Quartet. He also worked with George Benson, Harry Connick. Jr. and McCoy Tyner, and the Branford Marsalis Quartet, winning another GRAMMY. Watts has appeared as both a musician on the Tonight Show and as an actor, Rhythm Jones in Spike Lee’s “Mo Better Blues”. He joined Kenny Garrett’s band in 1995 and continued to record and tour with Branford Marsalis as well as Danilo Perez, Michael Brecker, Betty Carter, Kenny Kirkland, Courtney Pine, Geri Allen, Alice Coltrane, Greg Osby, McCoy Tyner, Steve Coleman, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Harry Connick Jr, and Ravi Coltrane.


Christian Sands is an emerging jazz force. He possesses pianistic technique in abundance, but it perfectly matches his conception. At the young age of 20 he received two GRAMMY Nominations for Best Latin Jazz Piano Solo, and Best Latin Jazz Album. He is the protégé of Dr. Billy and has been featured on several performances with him at Washington DC’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Following in his mentor’s footsteps he encourages, inspired and advocates for the preservation and history of jazz. He teaches and promotes the passion and richness jazz offers.

Christian Sands

Sands has shared the stage a who’s who list of jazz luminaries such as Wynton Marsalis, Stefan Harris, Lou Donaldson, Avery Sharpe, James Moody, Bill Evans, Russell Malone, Rufus Reid, Chip Jackson, Terrance Blanchard, Alex Riel, Louis Hayes, Patti Austin, and Wycliffe Gordon to name a few. He is a member of Christian McBride’s renowned trio and quintet group Inside Straight. Christian Sands’ third solo recording for Mack Avenue, With Be Water, captures and establishes him as a forceful leader in composition and conceptual vision. The music is akin to the element which has no form of its own, taking on the structure of whatever musical composition and performance in which it finds itself and is a universal necessity.

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