San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Next at NOCCA:
The NOCCA Institute presents acclaimed jazz violinist Christian Howes & the Christian Howes Trio
NOCCA's Nims Black Box Theatre
2800 Chartres Street
All seats: $20
Jazz violinist Christian Howes comes to NOCCA on Saturday, March 16 at 8pm for a one-night-only CENTER STAGE concert event.
Performing with the Christian Howes Trio -- which also includes percussionist Cedric Easton and pianist Hamilton Hardin -- Howes will play a number of works from his upcoming album, Southern Exposure. That album explores a wide range of Latin music, including repertoire from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, and Spain. It also includes two original compositions by Howes himself. Howes performed once before at NOCCA -- in 2010 as part of guitarist Joel Harrison's ensemble.
As with all CENTER STAGE concerts presented by The NOCCA Institute, Howes and his trio will conduct master classes for NOCCA students during their visit to New Orleans. Howes will also lead outreach activities for at-risk youth at a local drop-in center. Such activities are important for Howes, who was incarcerated for several years as a young adult: "Prison was the low point in my life and created this burning drive in me never to go back to that darkness. The experience was very difficult. I learned from it and found my way as a performer and an educator, and I hope I can ultimately use the experience for good."
Please note: the Christian Howes Trio will perform in the intimate Nims Black Box Theatre, located on NOCCA's campus at 2800 Chartres Street. Jazz fans are encouraged to reserve their tickets early by visiting www.NOCCAInstitute.com or by calling 504 940 2900. Tickets are $20, and all seats are general admission.
BIO: CHRISTIAN HOWES
As a musician:
Throughout his life and career, Christian Howes has thrived on venturing outside of his comfort zone. He's taken the violin into the relatively unexplored territory of modern jazz, combining classical training with soulful expressiveness; he's emerged from hardships and challenges with an ever-stronger, more individual voice; and he's been on the vanguard of digital-age entrepreneurship with his online classes and virtual string orchestra.
Classically trained, Howes found himself thrust into the midst of musicians from the street and the church while serving a four-year jail sentence in the early 1990s. He learned vital lessons during that otherwise bleak tenure, which infused a deep feeling for the blues, gospel, and jazz music into his virtuosic technique. At the same time, he earned a degree in philosophy from Ohio State University. Those experiences taught Howes to find himself in every style of music -- a lesson he applies when he performs the work of composers like Ástor Piazzolla, Ivan Lins, and Egberto Gismonti.
The Minneapolis Tribune calls Howes "arguably the most intriguing young violinist in jazz", while the Chicago Reader says: "Not since Jean-Luc Ponty has a violinist ranged from pure classical to fuzztone rock to convincing jazz with such authority."
Christian was awarded the #1 spot in Downbeat magazine's Critics Poll (Rising Star Violin) in 2011. He was also nominated for "Violinist of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2011.
Following a string of self-produced albums through the 1990s, Christian stepped into a larger arena by moving to New York, where he soon became an in-demand figure on the scene. A classically trained player, he quickly earned a reputation in jazz circles by playing with the likes of trumpeter Randy Brecker, trombonist Steve Turre, guitarist Joel Harrison, pianist D.D. Jackson, saxophonist Greg Osby, drummer Dafnis Prieto, Dave Samuels' Caribbean Jazz Project, Bill Evans' Soulgrass, crossover pioneers Spyro Gyra, and the legendary guitarist-inventor Les Paul.
As an educator:
A former associate professor at the Berklee College of Music, in 2003 Howes launched his innovative Creative Strings Workshop: a week-long camp held annually in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio. The Creative Strings Workshop attracts students of all ages and from all over the world. Through intimate instruction from some of the top creative string players and an intense performance schedule at venues throughout the city, participants gain experience in improvisation-based music and grow to appreciate the life of a gigging musician.
Howes has been invited to teach or present at The New School, Singapore International String Conference, Oberlin College, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, University of New Mexico, University of Southern California, Ohio State University, IAJE, NAMM, IMEA, OMEA, KASTA, FMEA, AASTA, the Mark O'Connor Fiddle Camp, Jazz Connections, and hundreds of high schools and middle schools. Christian endorses Yamaha violins and pickups and D'Addario strings.
BIO: CEDRIC EASTON
From the moment Cedric Easton could walk, he was playing the drums. At the age of four, Easton began playing in church and won his first regional music competition at age eight through the FOX KIDS television network.
In his junior year of high school, while attending the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Performing Arts High School in Columbus, Ohio, Easton began his formal study of the drums. His teachers included Dan Thress, Jim Maneri, and Jeff McCargish. As a senior, Easton successfully auditioned for the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra, his first experience with the jazz genre.
After graduation, Cedric began performing professionally with the Bobby Floyd Trio and other jazz ensembles, including the Matt Adams Quartet and the Chad Eby Trio. He has also had the opportunity to perform with internationally recognized jazz musicians such as Wes Anderson, Wycliffe Gordon, and Kenny Banks Sr.
While Cedric has been immersed in the music of jazz, he has remained rooted in gospel music. He has had the opportunity to perform with nationally recognized gospel artists such as Detrick Haddon, Dorinda Clark Cole, and Marvin Sapp.
Currently a resident of Columbus, Ohio, Cedric performs with national recording artist Christian Howes. He also serves as musical director of the New Covenant Believer's Church and is a faculty member of Jazz Arts Group's Jazz Academy.
Referred to by many as "The One Man Band", Hamilton Hardin is a multi-instrumentalist/composer/music producer who has traveled the world performing in a wide range of genres with artists such as The Pharez Whitted Quintet, Kirk Whalum, Derek Gardner, Christian Howes, Jonathan Dunn, Macio Parker, Kelley Hunt, Conya Doss, Lisa McClendon, Ingrid Rosario, Myron Walden, Tia Fuller, Mark Lomax & Blacklisted Music, Marlin Jordan, Shawn Jones, The Kim Pensyl Quartet, John Blackwell, The Ohio State University Jazz Ensemble, and many others.
This concert is made possible, in part, by a grant from SouthArts, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Funding is also provided by a grant from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation.
When & Where
The NOCCA Institute
The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) is a world-class educational institution that has been changing the lives of young people since 1973. Every year, this professional arts training center provides intensive instruction in Classical Music, Creative Writing, Culinary Arts, Dance, Drama, Jazz, Media Arts, Musical Theatre, Theatre Design, Vocal Music, Visual Arts, and academics to students from public, private, and parochial schools across Louisiana. Students attend via schoolday, after-school, weekend, and summer sessions. Admission to NOCCA is by audition, and there is no tuition.
The NOCCA Institute provides supplemental funding for NOCCA students and advocacy for NOCCA’s world-class program. Some of the Institute’s more notable endeavors include: a year-round Financial Aid Program, an Artists-in-Residence Program, capital campaigns for NOCCA’s state-of-the-art campus, and numerous arts programs for the general public.