Christian Howes, one of the world’s most acclaimed electric violinists, will lead a performance of his namesake jazz ensemble at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23 in White Concert Hall at Washburn University. Tickets are $5 per person.
Earlier that day, he will present a clinic on jazz improvisation for string students in room 143 of the Garvey Fine Arts Center. Topics will include the art of improvisation, contemporary musical styles and cutting edge of music-related technology. The public is invited to the clinic and tickets are $10 per person, which includes admission to the concert.
While most classically trained violinists may excel at Mozart and Bach, few venture off thewritten page of music to explore their instruments through creative improvisation or other styles of music such as jazz, rock, and blues. "String instruments are usually associated with classical music,” said Howes from his home in Columbus, Ohio. “But so many string players are starting to see that we can have original voices too, and that classical music is only the beginning of a journey to explore those creative outlets that we all need to truly express ourselves.”
While Howes performs worldwide, he takes time for community outreach and innovative educational initiatives, including his popular distance learning Creative Strings Academy website http://creativestrings.christianhowes.com. His goal is to empower classically trained musicians to express themselves creatively through music, regardless of their chosen career path.
As an educator, performer and composer, Howes was recently voted among the top three jazz violinists by JazzTimes magazine, #1 Rising Star (Jazz Violinist) in the Downbeat Critics Poll and nominated for Violinist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. Earlier this year, he received the prestigious Residency Partnership award by Chamber Music America to work with underserved high school orchestra programs. A former associate professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Howes is the founder of the Creative Strings Academy online curriculum and the Creative Strings Workshop, an annual international music festival based in Columbus,Ohio.
(Dena Anson, 785-670-1711)