Francesca Maximé – ReRooted – Ep. 12 – Christian McBride

Francesca Maximé - ReRooted - Ep. 12 - Christian McBride

Grammy Award winning bassist Christian McBride talks with Francesca about improvisation in jazz, how artists are received in other cultures, and how music can bring balance to your life.

Christian McBride is an American Jazz bassist, composer, and arranger, who has appeared on more than 300 recordings as a side man. He is a six-time Grammy Award winner, the artistic director of the Newport Jazz Festival, and host of “Jazz Night in America” on NPR. You can learn more about him at

The Magic of 1959

Francesca welcomes Christian to the show and asks about the work he’s doing for his non-profit organization, Jazz House Kids. They reflect on how music can bring balance to the intensity of life. Christian talks about the magic of 1959, when several seminal jazz albums were released. 

“You were talking about the roots talking to each other, that’s what was happening (in jazz) in 1959.” – Christian McBride

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Improvisation and Authenticity (18:58)

The talk turns to improvisation in jazz, as Christian reflects on the different styles of noted improv masters Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. Francesca discusses her creative process and how she connects with work that feels organic and authentic. 

“It was about exploring and staying curious, which is the foundation of what we’re talking about in spiritual practice – about letting go and being open to see what comes, and being in the moment.” – Francesca Maximé

Culture Shock (43:43)

Francesca and Christian discuss social media and how it’s affecting American culture. Christian talks about how differently he’s treated in other cultures that have more reverence for the artist and creativity. They talk about Christian’s work with the Newport Jazz Festival and NPR.

“The happiest and probably the most at peace I ever feel is when I’m holding my bass, is when I’m playing my bass. I really feel a visceral connection to that.” – Christian McBride

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