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Christian Sands Trio to Perform at the Mahaney Arts Center Feb. 22

February 5, 2019

Grammy-nominated Pianist, Composer, Band Leader is a Rising Star of the Jazz World 

Middlebury, VT—Five-time Grammy Award nominee and Steinway artist Christian Sands brings his jazz trio to the Mahaney Arts Center on Friday, February 22. Not yet 30, Sands is an emerging jazz force to be reckoned with. Whether he’s playing stride, swing, bebop, progressive, fusion, Brazilian, or Afro-Cuban, his abundant piano technique perfectly matches his conception, accomplishing a much deeper musical goal: a fresh look at the entire language of jazz. For the performance at Middlebury, Sands will play alongside bassist Eric Wheeler and drummer Jerome Jennings.

Performing Arts Series Director Allison Coyne Carroll first heard Sands perform in 2014 when he was a finalist for the American Pianists Association’s Jazz Fellowship Award. “I was struck by his performance—at only 24, he was already a two-time Grammy nominated artist, and his dynamic and vibrant performance left an indelible impression on me. I’m thrilled we are finally able to bring Christian to Middlebury.”


About Christian Sands

From a very early age, Christian Sands possessed an insatiable appetite for music. He began music classes at age four, wrote his first composition at five, and started playing professionally at ten. He studied at the Neighborhood Music School and the Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, CT, and later received his B.A. and Masters degrees from the Manhattan School of Music.

His meteoric rise in the jazz world includes performances with the legendary Oscar Peterson and Dr. Billy Taylor, who took Sands on as his protégé. Sands has followed in Taylor’s footsteps by encouraging, inspiring, and advocating for the preservation and history of jazz.

A deeply rich and soulful feeling infuses Christian’s music, characterized by his infectious energy and spirit. It was that same spirit that caught the attention of Grammy award-winning bassist Christian McBride, who asked Sands—then 20 years old—to sit in at the Village Vanguard with his big band, Inside Straight. That appearance led Sands to become a member of McBride’s trio, touring throughout the world. The group’s 2013 CD release Out Here received a Grammy nomination for best jazz instrumental album.

Since arriving on the scene, Sands has shared the stage with such jazz luminaries as Wynton Marsalis, Diane Reeves, Sheila E, Warren Wolf, Stefan Harris, Jason Moran, Avery Sharpe, Bill Evans, Russell Malone, Terrance Blanchard, Louis Hayes, Patti Austin, Marcus Baylor, and Wycliffe Gordon, among many others. The power and prowess of his playing has taken him from the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. to the Newport, Monterey, Detroit, and Savannah Jazz Festivals. He has played New York’s celebrated jazz clubs such as the Village Vanguard, Jazz Standard, Blue Note, and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, and international jazz clubs in Japan, Germany, Russia, Italy, Corsiva, France, Belgium, Denmark, and Spain.

Sands was named a Jazz rising star by Wynton Marsalis in Jet Magazine and by Vanity Fair in their “Jazz Youth-Quake,” and was finalist for the 2015 Cole Porter Jazz Fellowship Award sponsored by the America Pianist Association. He is in demand as a composer and arranger, and has a significant discography including his most recent albums, Reach (2017) and Facing Dragons (2018).

“Sands’ live persona, his whole body language, was that of a man who was bursting with talent and creativity;, his inventive techniques and various rhythms were offered to the audience in an effortless and charismatic way. Time flew…”—Jazz in Europe

Performance Details

Christian Sands Trio will perform on Friday, February 22 at 7:30 PM at the Mahaney Arts Center’s Robison Hall. The Mahaney Center is located on the campus of Middlebury College, at 72 Porter Field Road in Middlebury, just off Route 30 South/S. Main Street. Parking is available curbside on Route 30 or in the Arts Center parking lot. General admission tickets are $28 for adults; $22 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, emeriti, and alumni; $10 for youth; and $6 for Middlebury College students; and are on sale at 802-443-MIDD (6433) or


Image Caption: Rising jazz star Christian Sands will perform at the Mahaney Arts Center in Middlebury on Friday, February 22 at 7:30 PM. Photo Anna Webber

Mahaney Arts Center
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax