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April 29, 2021

2021/22 Season Preview: A MoodSwing Reunion


UMS will present our schedule for 2021/22 in-person performances on May 13! Each week until then, we will preview a new program.

Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, and Brian Blade
Redman | Mehldau | McBride | Blade

Celebrated tenor saxophonist and composer Joshua Redman’s 1994 album MoodSwing introduced his first permanent band, an astonishing collection by four precociously talented musicians who would rapidly establish themselves as creative beacons.

After years of individual triumphs, Redman reunites the original group — pianist Brad Mehldau, who won the 2020 Grammy for “Best Jazz Instrumental Album,” bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Brian Blade — for an unforgettable performance of brand new material alongside signature work that showcases Redman’s “musical breadth, emotional depth and intellectual savvy.” (Chicago Tribune)

We’re delighted to bring this celebrated quartet — originally scheduled to perform in October 2020 – back to the Hill Auditorium stage.

Date and time for A MoodSwing Reunion will become available when the full 2021/22 season is on announced on May 13.

About the Artists

Joshua Redman

Joshua Redman is one of the most acclaimed and charismatic jazz artists to have emerged in the decade of the 1990s. Born in Berkeley, California, he is the son of legendary saxophonist Dewey Redman and dancer Renee Shedroff. At an early age, he was exposed to a variety of music and began playing clarinet at age nine before switching to what became his primary instrument, the tenor saxophone, one year later.

In 1991 Redman graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with a B.A. in Social Studies. He had already been accepted by Yale Law School, but deferred entrance for what he believed was only going to be one year. In November of that year, five months after moving to New York, Redman was named the winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition.

His second recording, MoodSwing, was released in 1994, introducing his first permanent band, which included three other young musicians who have gone on to become some of the most important and influential artists in modern jazz.

Redman has performed on UMS stages 4 times, appearing with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Joshua Redman Quartet, SF JAZZ Collective, and The Bad Plus Joshua Redman.

Brad Mehldau

Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist Brad Mehldau has recorded and performed extensively since the early 1990s, with his trio, and as a solo pianist. His performances convey a wide range of expression. There is often an intellectual rigor to the continuous process of abstraction that may take place on a given tune, and a certain density of information. That could be followed by a stripped-down, emotionally direct ballad. Mehldau favors juxtaposing extremes. He has attracted a sizeable following over the years, one that has grown to expect a singular, intense experience in his performance.

In addition to his trio and solo projects, Mehldau has collaborated with a number of influential jazz musicians, including with Joshua Redman, with Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, and Lee Konitz, and has recorded as a sideman with the likes of Michael Brecker, Wayne Shorter, John Scofield, and Charles Lloyd. For more than a decade, he has collaborated with several musicians and peers whom he respects greatly, including guitarists Peter Bernstein and Kurt Rosenwinkel and tenor saxophonist Mark Turner.

Mehldau’s trio has been presented 3 times by UMS, in 2001, 2005, and 2008.

Christian McBride

Raised in Philadelphia, a city steeped in soul, McBride moved to New York in 1989 to pursue classical studies at the Juilliard School. There he was promptly recruited to the road by saxophonist Bobby Watson. In 2000, McBride formed of what would become his longest-running project, the Christian McBride Band (CMB). Praised by writer Alan Leeds as “one of the most intoxicating, least predictable bands on the scene today,” the CMB—saxophonist Ron Blake, keyboardist Geoffrey Keezer, and drummer Terreon Gully—have been collectively evolving McBride’s all-inclusive, forward-thinking outlook on music through their incendiary live shows.

Currently, McBride hosts and produces The Lowdown: Conversations With Christian on SiriusXM satellite radio and National Public Radio’s Jazz Night in America, a weekly radio show and multimedia collaboration between WBGO, NPR, and Jazz at Lincoln Center, showcasing outstanding live jazz from across the country.

McBride has performed on UMS stages 4 times, most recently with Chick Corea and Brian Blade in 2019.

Brian Blade

A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Brian Blade established himself as a versatile, accomplished drummer early in his career, appearing on albums by the likes of Joshua Redman, Kenny Garrett, and Bob Dylan. Blade released his first album, Brian Blade Fellowship, at the age of 27 in 1998 and followed two years later with Perceptual, both on Blue Note.

Always an in-demand sideman and collaborator, Blade continued to find work with a varied bevy of artists, including Joni Mitchell, Bill Frisell, Wayne Shorter, Norah Jones, Daniel Lanois, and Emmylou Harris. Ten years after releasing his first album as the Brian Blade Fellowship, Blade returned with Season of Changes in 2008. A year later he released the Americana-influenced Mama Rosa, his debut as a singer/songwriter.

Blade has performed on UMS stages 4 times, most recently with Chick Corea and Christian McBride in 2019.

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