At the 30th Anniversary edition of Jazz in July UMass, the summer camp for musicians that Billy Taylor co-founded, Billy's protege, Christian Sands, played in a tribute to his mentor in a trio that included Avery Sharpe on bass, and Steve Johns on drums.
Christian Sands is a "rising star" in the world of jazz.Â He possesses pianistic technique in abundance, but it perfectly matches his conception.Â His use of understatement accomplishes a much deeper musical goal.Â He takes a fresh look at the entire language of jazz: stride, swing, bebop, progressive, fusion, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban.Â He says, "My music is about teaching the way of jazz and keeping it alive.Â It's unfortunate that the older styles, like stride, are starting to drift away."Â True to his word, Sands develops the past while providing unusual and stimulating vehicles for the present ... and for the future.Â Musicality, sensitivity, taste and swing â hallmarks for as long as he has been playing.
Born May 22, 1989, Christian began playing the piano at age 3, composing at age 5, and his meteoric rise in the jazz world already includes two appearances at the 2006 and 2007 Grammy Awards, including an outrageous, highly publicized duet with legendary pianist Oscar Peterson.Â He has also been featured as a special guest of jazz adjudicator and pianist Dr. Billy Taylor for his 2006 and 2007Â "Jazz at the Kennedy Center" Series in Washington, DC.Â Â He has performed with many jazz luminaries such as Lou Donaldson, Kirk Whalum, Avery Sharpe, Rufus Reid, Bill Summers, Chip Jackson, Phil Woods, James Moody, Wycliffe Gordon to name a few.
As a pianist, Christian Sands possesses an extensive vocabulary of patterns, textures and structures, which allow him to play in almost any style.Â He exemplifies the rising musical and spiritual aspirations of a singularly gifted musical soul.