8-time GRAMMY winner Christian McBride is Washington College’s graduation speaker

CHESTERTOWN — GRAMMY-winning musician and well-known radio host Christian McBride will address graduates at Washington College’s 241st commencement Sunday, May 19. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.

The bassist-composer-bandleader is a graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, and studied at The Juilliard School in New York City.

An eight-time GRAMMY winner, McBride serves as the artistic director of the historic Newport Jazz Festival, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the TD James Moody Jazz Festival and the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

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.

In a news release, McBride stated: “I’m really looking forward to speaking at Washington College’s commencement. My family is from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, so I have great memories tied to the area. I can’t wait to speak to the young people at Washington College and congratulate them on their achievement.”

McBride also is a respected educator and advocate for youth; he serves as artistic director of Jazz House KiDS and the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Sessions.

“In inviting him to speak and bestowing this honorary degree, we wish to recognize Christian’s immense contribution to jazz music, America’s original musical art form, and his accomplishments as one of the foremost bassists of a generation,” Washington College President Mike Sosulski said in the news release.

“We also wish to honor his role as an educator and ambassador for jazz music, in addition to being a composer and performer,” Sosulski said. “Christian exemplifies what we hope to see in all our graduates, which is a deep understanding of how the fine arts, an integral part of the liberal arts, can transport us, inspire us, and enrich our lives each and every day.”

Commencement ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. on the campus front lawn.

Rain location is the Benjamin A. Johnson Lifetime Fitness Center, where admission will be by invitation only.

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