Christian McBride was born in 1972 in Philadelphia. Electric bass was his first instrument, which he began playing at age 9, followed by acoustic bass two years later. Upon graduating from high school in 1989, he was awarded a partial scholarship to attend Juilliard.
Within the first two weeks of school, he joined saxophonist Bobby Watson's band, Horizon. He also started working around New York at clubs such as Bradley's and the Village Gate. After one year at Juilliard, McBride left school to tour with trumpeter Roy Hargrove. In August of 1990, he landed a position in Freddie Hubbard's band. During this time, McBride also played in Ray Brown’s trio SuperBass and in Pat Metheny's "Special Quartet."
His first album as leader, Gettin’ To It, was released on Verve in 1994. He has since recorded eleven more albums as leader on Verve, Ropeadope, Warner Bros, and Mack Avenue. As sideman, he has appeared on over 300 recordings. He has worked closely with Sting, George Duke, McCoy Tyner, Kathleen Battle, Diana Krall, David Sanborn, Chick Corea, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, George Benson, the late greats Joe Henderson, Betty Carter and Milt Jackson, along with many others. As a composer he has been commissioned to write works for Jazz at Lincoln Center and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2005, he was named co-director of Harlem’s Jazz Museum. He also served as Creative Chair for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
There have been very few artists who truly embody the genuine, heart-felt passion for music in all areas as has Christian McBride. By boldly continuing to leave his mark in areas of musical performance, composition, education and advocacy, he is destined to be a force in music for decades to come.