Born: February 21, 1972 Primary Instrument: Violin
Christian Howes has already made an indelible mark and is poised to be a path-finding figure on the contemporary violin. He’s won recognition and kudos from artists and critics alike. Says guitar pioneer Les Paul, with whom Christian has made numerous appearances: “There is nobody better than this guy.”
The prominent artists Howes has performed and/or recorded with include Greg Osby, Randy Brecker, James Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Akua Dixon’s Quartette Indigo, Billy Hart, D.D. Jackson, David Murray, Steve Turre’s Sextet with Strings, Jane Monheit, Dr. John, Frank Vignola, and Lenny White, to name a few.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Howes was classically trained beginning at age five. He subsequently performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra at 16. After placing in national classical competitions while still in his teens, Howes set out to build upon a strong classical foundation and distinguish himself in jazz, the art of the improvisers. His star has been ascending ever since.
As a bandleader or a featured guest, Howes has performed on such prestigious stages as the Newport, Toronto, Ottawa, and Tri-C jazz festivals. His club work has taken him to such world-renowned venues as Birdland, Iridium, the Knitting Factory, Blues Alley, and the Village Vanguard… and that’s just in the U.S. Christian’s tours have taken him throughout the Midwestern U.S., the Far East, and across Europe, including a part-time residence in Spain, where he has collaborated with some of that country’s finest musicians. In 2002 Howes was featured in performance in the Spanish film Impulsos.
An extremely versatile and flexible artist, this prolific violinist/composer maintains five distinct working ensembles, including the Christian Howes Group (quintet or quartet), the Hot Swing Group, the European Acoustic Trio, the Special Electric Violin Project, and Duo Americana. Howes is also available to provide clinics and master classes for all ages.
“Not since Jean-Luc Ponty has a violinist ranged from pure classical jazz to fuzz tone rock to convincing jazz with such authority.” Chicago Reader
“…Arguably the most intriguing young violinist in jazz…” The Minneapolis Tribune
“…As a jazz violinist he has no peer…” All About Jazz
“Christian Howes is the incredible hulk of the jazz violin.” Matt Glaser, violinist and Chair of the Berklee School of Music Strings Department