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"Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances." - Maya Angelou

In the 1960s, when the Civil Rights Movement achieved its greatest moments, gifted bassist and composer Christian McBride was not yet born. As a child in the 1970s, he learned the history of the movement in school, but due to a quirk of fate – his grandmother’s fortunate propensity for saving old things – he found another source of information that spoke to him on a more emotionally accessible level than history books.

“When I was a kid, I used to spend hours looking at old copies of Ebony and Jet magazines that my grandmother saved,” he says. “To read contemporaneous writings by black writers about events and people who were my history – our history – that was absolutely fascinating to me. It was the greatest gift my grandmother could have given to me.”

That gift played a major role in the creation of The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons, McBride’s stunning masterpiece about “the struggle,” which is now a 20 year-long, continuously evolving project. The work combines elements of jazz, gospel, big band, swing, symphony, theater and dramatic spoken word, in a clear-eyed yet optimistic look at where our society has come from and where it is hopefully headed.

Born in Philadelphia, McBride was a gifted musical prodigy who soaked up influences from every direction. At the tender age of 17, he was recruited by saxophonist Bobby Watson to join his group, Horizon. During the 1990s, he proceeded to work with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Pat Metheny, Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard and Chick Corea as well as major pop and rock stars like Sting, Paul McCartney, James Brown and Celine Dion. His abilities were also coveted by the classical music world, including opera legends Kathleen Battle and Renee Fleming.

In 1998, a musical commission from the Portland (Maine) Arts Society set in motion what would eventually become a major part of his life’s work. The only stipulation for the commission was that it had to include a choir. “At that time, I called it a musical portrait of the Civil Rights Movement,” Christian says. “I thought about those times and decided that rather than try to write a history of the movement, I wanted to evoke its spirit and feeling.”

Featured on

But Who's Gonna Play the Melody?
Christian McBride & Edgar Meyer
The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons (vinyl)
Christian McBride
Out Here (vinyl)
Christian McBride Trio
Conversations with Christian (orange vinyl)
Christian McBride
Live at the Village Vanguard (vinyl)
Christian McBride & Inside Straight
Live at the Village Vanguard
Christian McBride & Inside Straight
RELIEF: A Benefit for the Jazz Foundation of America's Musicians' Emergency Fund
Various Artists
Vessels of Wood and Earth
Dan Wilson
For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver (vinyl)
Christian McBride Big Band
For Jimmy, Wes and Oliver
Christian McBride Big Band
The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons
Christian McBride
Christian McBride’s New Jawn (vinyl)
Christian McBride
Christian McBride’s New Jawn
Christian McBride
Bringin’ It (vinyl)
Christian McBride Big Band
Bringin’ It
Christian McBride Big Band
REACH
Christian Sands
Convergence
Warren Wolf
Live at the Village Vanguard (vinyl)
Christian McBride Trio
Live From The Detroit Jazz Festival
Superband
Live at the Village Vanguard
Christian McBride Trio
Out Here
Christian McBride Trio
People Music
Christian McBride
The Good Feeling
Christian Mcbride Big Band
Conversations With Christian
Christian McBride
Kind Of Brown
Christian McBride / Inside Straight