Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Event Slides Per Node 1415

Christian Sands

7:30 pm Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Back in February 2021, we presented the beguiling jazz pianist Christian Sands and his quartet in a recorded concert available for streaming online. Eight months later, we’re thrilled to be presenting Sands live on our stage.

Sands started playing piano professionally at age 10. A protégé of the late jazz pianist and educator Billy Taylor, Sands earned two degrees at the Manhattan School of Music. A former member of bassist Christian McBride’s band, he has performed worldwide at jazz festivals, clubs, and theatres. 

“If there’s an overarching motif to Sands’ career to this point,” a DownBeat writer points out, “it’s his ability to astound listeners when they first hear him.” 

Be Water, his third album for Mack Avenue Music Group, was released in 2020. On the expressionistic recording, the pianist-composer finds inspiration in water’s tranquility and power and muses on the possibilities offered by echoing its fluidity and malleability.” 

“This might well be the best album yet by Christian Sands,” writes a reviewer for Jazz Journal. “His releases under his own name seem to have been gathering momentum, and here on Be Water it sounds almost as though he set out to make a great album, full stop, rather than a jazz album per se, but I’d say it’s both.”

“Be Water II,” a track from the album, was nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award in the Best Instrumental Composition category.

Sands will be joined in concert by bassist Russell Hall and drummer Clarence Penn.


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Adult $38
University Park Student $15
18 and Younger $28

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Patricia Best and Thomas Ray
Charlotte Zmyslo
Nancy Gamble
Nancy Wolf

support provided by
John L. Brown Jr. and Marlynn Steele Sidehamer Endowment 

A grant from the University Park Student Fee Board makes Penn State student prices possible.

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