Christian Sands Trio to perform at MAC

MIDDLEBURY — Five-time Grammy Award nominee and Steinway artist Christian Sands brings his jazz trio to the Mahaney Arts Center on Friday, Feb. 22. Not yet 30, Sands is an emerging jazz force to be reckoned with. Whether he’s playing stride, swing, bebop, progressive, fusion, Brazilian, or Afro-Cuban, his abundant piano technique perfectly matches his conception, accomplishing a much deeper musical goal: a fresh look at the entire language of jazz. For the performance at Middlebury, Sands will play alongside bassist Eric Wheeler and drummer Jerome Jennings.
Performing Arts Series Director Allison Coyne Carroll first heard Sands perform in 2014 when he was a finalist for the American Pianists Association’s Jazz Fellowship Award.
“I was struck by his performance — at only 24, he was already a two-time Grammy nominated artist, and his dynamic and vibrant performance left an indelible impression on me,” Carroll said. “I’m thrilled we are finally able to bring Christian to Middlebury.”
About Christian Sands
From a very early age, Sands possessed an insatiable appetite for music. He began music classes at age four, wrote his first composition at five, and started playing professionally at 10. He studied at the Neighborhood Music School and the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, Conn., and later received his B.A. and Masters degrees from the Manhattan School of Music.
His meteoric rise in the jazz world includes performances with the legendary Oscar Peterson and Dr. Billy Taylor — who took Sands on as his protégé. Sands has followed in Taylor’s footsteps by encouraging, inspiring, and advocating for the preservation and history of jazz.
A deeply rich and soulful feeling infuses Christian’s music, characterized by his infectious energy and spirit. It was that same spirit that caught the attention of Grammy award-winning bassist Christian McBride, who asked Sands — then 20 years old — to sit in at the Village Vanguard with his big band, Inside Straight. That appearance led Sands to become a member of McBride’s trio, touring throughout the world. The group’s 2013 CD release “Out Here” received a Grammy nomination for best jazz instrumental album.
Since then, Sands has shared the stage with a host of  jazz luminaries and played at many celebrated jazz clubs around the world. He was named a Jazz rising star by Wynton Marsalis in Jet Magazine and by Vanity Fair in their “Jazz Youth-Quake,” and was finalist for the 2015 Cole Porter Jazz Fellowship Award sponsored by the America Pianist Association. As you might imagine, Sands is in demand as a composer and arranger, and has a significant discography including his most recent albums, “Reach” (2017) and “Facing Dragons” (2018).
Come see the Christian Sands Trio next Friday, 7:30 p.m., at the Mahaney Arts Center’s Robison Hall. General admission tickets are $28 for adults; $22 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, emeriti, and alumni; $10 for youth; and $6 for Middlebury College students; and are on sale at 802-443-MIDD (6433) or  middlebury.edu/arts/tickets.

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