Meet the Band: Mack Avenue Superband
By Madison Stapels
Before you see the Mack Avenue SuperBand featuring Gary Burton, Tia Fuller, Sean Jones and the Christian McBride Trio next Tuesday, March 29, we want to make sure you get to know the musicians you will be listening to on stage. These individuals are all major players in the jazz world and beyond, so we’ve given you quick descriptions and fun facts about them. First, press play on the video below to set the mood for the Mack Avenue SuperBand:
Click on the image of each SuperBand member to learn more!
Christian McBride (bass) is a five-time Grammy®-winning jazz bassist, co-band leader of Mack Avenue SuperBand and can be likened to a force of nature, fusing the fire and fury of a virtuoso with the depth and grounding of a seasoned journeyman. Powered by a relentless energy and a boundless love of swing, McBride’s path has been a continuous positive arc since his arrival on the scene. With a career now blazing into its third decade, the Philadelphia native has become one of the most requested, most recorded, and most respected figures in the music world today.
Sean Jones (trumpet) plays the trumpet with intense immediacy and urgency, hewing to the jazz tradition, but moving the music forward at the same time. After stepping down from his longtime position as lead trumpeter of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and then touring with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock’s Tribute To Miles, Sean has established himself as a formidable leader through his recordings and live performances.
Tia Fuller (saxophone) is at home at all points of the music spectrum – from her show-stopping solos as a member of superstar Beyoncé’s all-female band, to her scintillatingly swinging jazz dates and recordings. For this season’s SuperBand, Fuller brings her fire and punch, rhythmic freedom and drive, and her youthful twisting of genres she’s gained from a life in both top-of-the-charts pop and jazz.
Gary Burton (vibraphone) is a seven-time Grammy® Award-winner, co-band leader of Mack Avenue SuperBand and jazz legend. He made his first recordings at age seventeen, and has toured and recorded with a who’s who of famous jazz masters including Chick Corea, Pat Metheny and Stan Getz, to name a few. Gary is known for reintroducing and expanding the technique of four-mallet playing and crafting one of the jazz world’s signature sounds.
Carl Allen (drums) is one of the most recorded jazz drummers of all time, with over 200 recordings to his credit. The gifted Milwaukee-born, New York-based drummer, sideman, bandleader, entrepreneur and educator, Carl Allen’s profound and propulsive percolations provided soulful and syncopated support for nearly three decades.
Christian Sands (piano) is a Steinway Recording Artist and emerging jazz force. His meteoric rise in the jazz world includes three Grammy® nominations and two live performances at the 2006 and 2007 Grammy® Awards including an outrageous, highly publicized duet with legendary pianist Oscar Peterson. Following in his mentor’s footsteps, the late Dr. Billy Taylor, he encourages, inspires and advocated for the preservation and history of jazz.
Still want to learn more? Click here for more information.
Tickets to the performance are available here. For students there are specially priced $15 student tickets with an MSU ID here.
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