Christian Sands | KNKX

Christian Sands

Oct 5, 2018
  • Christian Sands
  • Monday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, Seattle


Christian Sands is currently one of the most in-demand pianists working in jazz. He spent several of his formative years cutting his teeth on the road with legendary bassist Christian McBride, but for the last few years he has toured around the world as a bandleader - consistently selling out venues in major markets. Earlier this year Sands was named creative ambassador to The Erroll Garner Jazz Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to the legacy of the late great pianist Erroll Garner. Due out September 21 on Mack Avenue Records, Facing Dragons is Sands' return to the recording studio with an indestructible band and an unwavering allegiance to the groove, after the release of his one-two punch of Reach and Reach Further.

Sands possesses pianistic technique in abundance, but it perfectly matches his conception. His use of understatement accomplishes a much deeper musical goal. He takes a fresh look at the entire language of jazz: stride, swing, bebop, progressive, fusion, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban. He says, “My music is about teaching the way of jazz and keeping it alive.”

Born May 22, 1989, Christian possessed an insatiable appetite for music. He was enrolled in music classes at age 4, wrote his first composition at age 5, he quickly became a professional by the age of 10. He attended several prestigious schools for the arts in New Haven and later received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the Manhattan School of Music.

His meteoric rise already includes two appearances at the 2006 and 2007 Grammy Awards, including an outrageous, highly publicized duet with legendary pianist Oscar Peterson. At the young age of 20, he received two Latin Grammy Nominations (Best Jazz Piano Solo and Best Jazz Album) for his performance on Bobby Sanabria’s Kenya Revisited. He is also the protégé of Dr. Billy and has been featured on several performances with him at Washington DC’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

With his debut Mack Avenue Records recording, Reach (2017), the singularly talented pianist is stretching into exciting progressive territory as he breaks new ground. Sounds on the record traverse from the straight-ahead zone into fresh-sounding music influenced by a range of styles: from Afro-Cuban rhythms to hip-hop beats to dirty blues with an edge. That's impressive for a youngster who is just 29. "The collection here is about reaching new ideas and reaching new music," he says. "I'm reaching from past recordings to bring in the future, which is really all about finding myself. It's a chance to express my experience."