Christian Sands is a “rising star” in the world of jazz. He 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. It’s unfortunate that the older styles, like stride, are starting to drift away.” True to his word, Sands develops the past while providing unusual and stimulating vehicles for the present … and for the future. Musicality, sensitivity, taste and swing — hallmarks for as long as he has been playing.
Born May 22, 1989, Christian began playing the piano at age 3, composing at age 5, and his meteoric rise in the jazz world already includes two appearances at the 2006 and 2007 Grammy Awards, including an outrageous, highly publicized duet with legendary pianist Oscar Peterson. He has also been featured as a special guest of jazz adjudicator and pianist Dr. Billy Taylor for his 2006 and 2007 “Jazz at the Kennedy Center” Series in Washington, DC. He has performed with many jazz luminaries such as Lou Donaldson, Kirk Whalum, Avery Sharpe, Rufus Reid, Bill Summers, Chip Jackson, Phil Woods, James Moody, Wycliffe Gordon to name a few.
He has been as invited guest to play at some of the world’s most prestigious jazz venues and festivals such as Dizzy's Club Coco Cola, Shanghai Jazz Club, Zanzibar Jazz Club, National Music Guild Convention, IAJE Convention, VIC Jazz Club, Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, Berkshire Jazz Festival, Vail Jazz Club, New Haven International Arts and Ideas Festival, Hartford Jazz Festival, Jazz Mobile Festival, New Orleans Jazz Festival, Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre, Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Metropolitan Museum, Betty Carter Jazz Ahead, Jazz in July and Connecticut State Capitol.
As a pianist, Christian Sands possesses an extensive vocabulary of patterns, textures and structures, which allow him to play in almost any style. On his three inimitable CDs, Footprints (which was recorded when he was 12), Harmonia, and Risin’ he demonstrates his skills as a composer, arranger, and producer. Playing his own music, he invents and re-invents himself with sonorities which define each moment, rhythms which impel the music forward, structures which are surprising and fascinating — and never for a moment un-musical.
Christian Sands has received many accolades in his young career such as Honorary Recognition from Connecticut State Governor M. Jodi Rell for outstanding dedication and commitment to the advancement of Music, Special Recognition from Connecticut State Senator Christopher Dodd for Outstanding Musical Achievements, Margaret Guthman Jazz Piano Competition in 2005, Renee Fisher Composition Award 1994, selection to the Gibson/Baldwin Grammy Jazz Ensemble for High School students 2006 and 2007, Eastman College Harold Danko Scholarship 2007; and Manhattan School for Music Presidential MSM Scholarship 2007.
Christian Sands is now a student attending the Manhattan School of Music and pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and Composition. He exemplifies the rising musical and spiritual aspirations of a singularly gifted musical soul.