Grammy Award-nominated bassist, composer, and bandleader Christian McBride performs on the DSO's Paradise Jazz Series, March 24

Bassist, composer, and bandleader Christian McBride performs music from his project New Jawn at Orchestra Hall on the DSO’s Paradise Jazz Series

Civic Jazz Orchestra gives an opening performance in The Cube prior to the concert

Following the Paradise Jazz Series concert, internationally renowned bassist Rodney Whitaker hosts a late-night performance and jam session in The Cube

Tickets on sale now at

Detroit, (March 8, 2023) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) will continue its Paradise Jazz Series with Christian McBride's New Jawn. This one-night-only performance will take place on Friday, March 24 at 8 p.m. at Orchestra Hall. 

A seven-time Grammy Award-winning bassist, composer, and bandleader, McBride turns to one of Philadelphia’s most beloved colloquialisms to christen this project, Christian McBride's New Jawn. Jawn [jän] is slang terminology from Philadelphia, an all-purpose term for a person, place, or thing. From jazz to R&B, neo-soul to classical, McBride is a luminary with one hand ever reaching for new heights, and the other extended in fellowship—and perhaps the hint of a challenge—inviting us to join him.

Prior to the performance, the Civic Jazz Orchestra, part of the DSO’s Civic Youth Ensembles, will give an opening performance in the Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube (The Cube). At the end of the evening, internationally renowned bassist Rodney Whitaker hosts a late-night performance and jam session, also in The Cube. All musicians with instruments are welcome to attend the late-night event for free and sit in with the band; please RSVP with Kenji Lee at

Please note: the DSO does not appear on these performances.

Christian McBride’s New Jawn will take place on Friday, March 24 at 8 p.m. in Orchestra Hall. Tickets for this performance start at $19. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the Box Office at 313.576.5111, open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Subscriptions for the 2022-2023 Paradise Jazz Series can be purchased at

Currently in its 23rd season, the Paradise Jazz Series is named for and honors the legacy of the Paradise Theatre, the historic Detroit jazz venue that was on the site of Orchestra Hall from 1941-1951. The DSO is one of few major American orchestras to present regular jazz programming on its main stage. Acclaimed trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and educator Terence Blanchard has served as the DSO’s Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair since 2012. Learn more about the series at

2022-2023 SEASON DSO SAFETY POLICIES: The DSO no longer requires audiences to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend performances. Masks are optional although strongly recommended at DSO performances, particularly when Wayne County and surrounding communities are in the high or "red" category as defined by the CDC. The DSO asks audience members to do their part to create a safe environment for everyone and encourages those who are not feeling well to stay home.

The Paradise Jazz Series is supported by Huntington, MGM Grand Detroit, and DownBeat magazine.


Paradise Jazz Series
Friday, March 24 at 8 p.m.
Orchestra Hall
Christian McBride, bass/composer/bandleader
Jawn [jän]: noun. A slang terminology from Philadelphia. All-purpose term for a person, place, or thing

Seven-time Grammy Award-winning bassist, composer, and bandleader Christian McBride turns to one of Philadelphia’s most beloved colloquialisms to christen this project, Christian McBride's New Jawn. From jazz to R&B, neo-soul to classical, McBride is a luminary with one hand ever reaching for new heights, and the other extended in fellowship—and perhaps the hint of a challenge—inviting us to join him.

Related Events:

Friday, March 24 at 7 p.m.
The Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube
Civic Jazz Orchestra, ensemble
The Civic Jazz Orchestra is the opening act for Christian McBride's New Jawn! Jawn [jän]: noun. A slang terminology from Philadelphia. All-purpose term for a person, place, or thing. Support the CJO in the Cube before the show.

Friday, March 24 at 10 p.m.
The Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube
Rodney Whitaker, bass
Join us in the CUBE for a post-Paradise Jazz Series concert hosted by internationally renowned bassist Rodney Whitaker who has worked with great musicians such as Roy Hargrove, Pat Metheny, and Wynton Marsalis. The Rodney Whitaker group will perform, providing opportunities for musicians to sit in with the band. With all the talent from Detroit, there is always a chance for surprise special guest artists. Musicians with instruments can attend the event for FREE. Please RSVP in advance with Kenji Lee at
Ticket Information
$20 - General Admission
$40 - Cabaret Admission


About Christian McBride
Raised in a city steeped in soul, Christian McBride moved to New York in 1989 to pursue classical studies at The Juilliard School. There, he was promptly recruited to the road by saxophonist Bobby Watson. Call it a change in curriculum: a decade’s worth of study through hundreds of recording sessions and countless gigs with an ever-expanding circle of musicians. He was finding his voice, and others were learning to listen for it.

In 2000, the lessons of the road came together in the formation of what would become his longest-running project, the Christian McBride Band (CMB). Praised by writer Alan Leeds as "one of the most intoxicating, least predictable bands on the scene today," the CMB—saxophonist Ron Blake, keyboardist Geoffrey Keezer, and drummer Terreon Gully—have been collectively evolving McBride's all-inclusive, forward-thinking outlook on music through their incendiary live shows, as chronicled on 2006’s Live at Tonic. Part excursion, part education, the CMB is a vehicle built on a framework of experience and powered by unfettered creativity: a mesmerizing dance on the edge of an electro-acoustic fault line.

In 2009, McBride began focusing this same energy through a more traditional lens with the debut of his critically acclaimed Inside Straight quintet, and again with the Christian McBride Big Band, whose 2012 release The Good Feeling won a Grammy Award for Best Large Ensemble Jazz Album. As his career entered its third decade, McBride added the role of mentor, tapping rising stars pianist Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. for the Christian McBride Trio’s Grammy Award-nominated album Out Here.

McBride is also a respected educator and advocate, first noted in 1997 when he spoke on former President Bill Clinton's town hall meeting "Racism in the Performing Arts." He has since been named Artistic Director of the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Sessions (2000), co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (2005), and the Second Creative Chair for Jazz of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (2005).

In 1998, he combined roles, composing The Movement, Revisited, a four-movement suite dedicated to four of the major figures of the civil rights movement: Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The piece was commissioned by the Portland (ME) Arts Society and the National Endowment for the Arts, and performed throughout New England in the fall of 1998 with McBride's quartet and a 30-piece gospel choir. For its tenth anniversary, The Movement, Revisited was expanded, rewritten, and revamped to feature an 18-piece big band and four actors/speakers in addition to the gospel choir. It was performed in Los Angeles at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and praised by the Los Angeles Times as "a work that was admirable—to paraphrase Dr. King—for both the content of its music and the character of its message."

Currently, McBride hosts and produces “The Lowdown: Conversations With Christian” on SiriusXM satellite radio and National Public Radio’s “Jazz Night in America,” a weekly radio show and multimedia collaboration between WBGO, NPR and Jazz at Lincoln Center, showcasing outstanding live jazz from across the country. With his staggering body of work, McBride is the ideal host, drawing on history, experience, and a gift for storytelling to bridge the gap between artist, music, and audience. He brings that same breadth of experience to bear as Artistic Advisor for Jazz Programming at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC).

Completing the circle is his work with Jazz House Kids, the nationally recognized community arts organization founded by his wife, vocalist Melissa Walker. Exclusively dedicated to educating children through jazz, the “Jazz House” concept brings internationally renowned jazz performers to teach alongside a professional staff, offering students a wide range of creative programming that develops musical potential, enhances leadership skills, and strengthens academic performance. This shared celebration of America’s original musical art form cultivates tomorrow’s community leaders and global citizens while preserving its rich legacy for future generations.

Whether behind the bass or away from it, McBride is always of the music. From jazz (Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Rollins, J.J. Johnson, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson, McCoy Tyner, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny) to R&B (Isaac Hayes, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, Lalah Hathaway, and the one and only Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown) to pop/rock (Sting, Paul McCartney, Carly Simon, Don Henley, Bruce Hornsby) to hip-hop/neo-soul (The Roots, D'Angelo, Queen Latifah) to classical (Kathleen Battle, Edgar Meyer, Shanghai Quartet, Sonus Quartet), he is a luminary with one hand ever reaching for new heights, and the other extended in fellowship—and perhaps the hint of a challenge—inviting us to join him.

About the DSO
The acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the organization. In January 2020, Italian conductor Jader Bignamini was named the DSO’s next music director to commence with the 2020-2021 season. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while Oscar-nominated trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair.

Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, the DSO offers a performance schedule that features PVS Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of the world’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall celebrated its centennial in 2019-2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in seven metro area venues, as well as a robust schedule of eclectic multi-genre performances in its mid-size venue The Cube, constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings.

A dedication to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a live radio broadcast of a concert and continues today with the groundbreaking Live from Orchestra Hall series of free webcasts, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.