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Christian McBride and Ursa Major

Thursday • Oct 24, 2024 • 7:00pm

Christian McBride is an eight-time GRAMMY-winning bassist, composer and bandleader fusing everything from jazz to R&B, pop/rock to hip-hop/neo-soul to classical. He is the Artistic Director of the historic Newport Jazz Festival, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the TD James Moody Jazz Festival, and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

A long-time performer of the Saratoga Jazz Festival, McBride returns to SPAC with four rising young master instrumentalists including saxophonist Nicole Glover, guitarist Ely Perlman, pianist Mike King, and drummer Savannah Harris.

The show kicks off our inaugural McCormack Jazz Series furthering SPAC’s commitment to jazz in a night not to be missed!


Part of the McCormack Jazz Series, a new annual jazz-centric programming series at Spa Little Theater in honor of “Saratoga’s Champion of Jazz,” Don McCormack, and his family. Learn more here.

Christian McBride

Christian McBride is an eight-time GRAMMY-winning bassist, composer, and bandleader. He is the Artistic Director of the historic Newport Jazz Festival, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the TD James Moody Jazz Festival, and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. McBride is also a respected educator and advocate for youth, and serves as Artistic Director of Jazz House KiDS and the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Sessions. In addition to artistic directing and consistent touring with his ensembles, he hosts NPR’s “Jazz Night in America” and “The Lowdown: Conversations With Christian” on SiriusXM. Whether behind the bass or away from it, Christian McBride is always part of the music. From jazz to R&B, and pop/rock and hip-hop/neo-soul to classical, he is a luminary with one hand ever reaching for new heights, and the other extended in fellowship—and perhaps the hint of a challenge—inviting us to join him.

Michael King – Keys

Virtuosic pianist Michael King, a Chicagoan native, began playing drums in his local church band at the early age of 4. This fortuitously melodic schooling nurtured an undeniable affinity to the piano and organ, the very seat that he began to occupy, by ear, at age 14. Mr. King is an alumni of Lincoln Park High School and the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory. He was selected to attend the Thelonious Monk Institute and The Ravinia Jazz Scholars program on merit scholarships. Michael has performed with Bobby Watson, Kevin Eubanks, Dave Liebeman, Gary Bartz, Billy Hart, Joel Frahm, Rufus Reid, & Antonio Hart, among others. Currently you can catch Mr. King touring internationally with: DeeDee Bridgewater, Robin Eubanks, Theo Croker’s DVRK FUNK, Soul Understated, & Marcus Printup.

Savannah Harris – Drums

Savannah Harris is a New York City-based drummer, composer and producer. Raised in Oakland, California by musician parents, she gravitated towards the drums at age 2. Steeped in a jazz tradition, Savannah views its connection to all forms of diasporic and folkloric music as central to her approach. She’s performed and recorded with indie and experimental artists Helado Negro, Georgia Anne Muldrow, KeiyaA, Nick Hakim, Kate Davis, Justin Allen, and Standing on the Corner. Her jazz recordings include releases from Peter Evans, María Grand, and Or Bareket. She’s performed with Geri Allen, Jason Moran, Ambrose Akinmusire, Terrence Blanchard, Linda May Han Oh, Billy Childs, Immanuel Wilkins, Joel Ross, and Aaron Parks. Presently, she tours extensively with Christian McBride, Cecile McLorin Salvant, and Kenny Barron.  In 2019, Savannah was awarded the Harlem Stage Emerging Artist Award, and she received her master’s in jazz performance from Manhattan School of Music. She was featured twice in the January 2021 issue of Modern Drummer as both a featured artist and a contributing writer. In October of 2021, she debuted her solo piece “With Inner Sound, Truth” commissioned by Issue Project Room as a tribute to composer Ruth Anderson. Savannah was also featured in Sixteen Journal’s “JAZZ” edition, with portraits shot by photographer James Brodribb.

Nicole Glover – Saxophone

Saxophonist, bandleader, composer, and educator Nicole Glover, is based in New York City and has established herself as a rising star and a musician in great demand. Her most recent solo recording is Strange Lands (Savant), with the venerable pianist George Cables. The London Times awarded the album 4 stars, calling it “otherworldly.” It remained near the top of the Jazzweek radio charts for 11 weeks. Nicole is also an integral member of the supergroup ARTEMIS, led by pianist Renee Rosnes. In May 2023, the collective released their 2nd recording, In Real Time, on Blue Note Records.

Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Nicole was a student of the American Music Program, a program dedicated to priming students for a career in jazz. In 2009, she moved east to attend the jazz program at William Paterson University. There, she studied with pianists Harold Mabern, Mulgrew Miller and tenor saxophonist Rich Perry.

Currently, Nicole is a member of an new quintet led by bassist Christian McBride, and she performs often with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. She has worked with drummers Al Foster, Victor Lewis and Kenny Washington, Grammy award winning vocalists Dee Dee Bridgewater and Buika, saxophonist Rudresh Manhanthappa, vibraphonist Joel Ross, and pianists Geoffrey Keezer, Luis Perdomo, and George Colligan among others. She recently performed Mary Lou Williams’ “Zodiac Suite” with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the musical direction of pianist Aaron Diehl.

An experienced educator, Nicole is on faculty at Princeton University, Manhattan School of Music, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She is a passionate teacher, and has given many masterclasses and private lessons to aspiring musicians all over the globe.

Ely Perlman – Guitar

Ely Perlman (b. 1999) is a guitarist, composer, and producer hailing from Tel Aviv, Israel. A third-year student at the Berklee College of Music, Ely Perlman is a member of Christian McBride’s newest band. In addition to collaborating with other acclaimed artists such as Shai Maestro and Ben Wendel, Ely leads multiple musical projects, including a jazz quartet highlighting his compositional vision and an indie band called “SWIMS.” Ely released “All We Got” in 2022, his first single as a singer/songwriter, and is currently working on his self-produced debut album. He received his early musical education at the esteemed Jazz Department of the Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts, graduating with honors, and at the Center for Jazz Studies at the Israel Conservatory of Music, Tel Aviv.

Group Sales

Experience SPAC together! From groups of friends and family to corporate outings, senior centers, summer camps, and arts schools, we can curate a special experience for your group of 10 or more. We offer discounts, flexible options and can work with your group leader to tailor your needs for a memorable day.

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