About Christian Howes
40-year-old Christian Howes grew up in Columbus, Ohio and received a degree in Philosophy from the Ohio State University. Following 10 years in New York City making a name on the international jazz scene, he has recently returned to raise a family while anchoring his touring and educational activities from his hometown of Columbus.
The Minneapolis Tribune calls him “arguably the most intriguing young violinist in jazz,” while the Chicago Reader says, “Not since Jean-Luc Ponty has a violinist ranged from pure classical to fuzz tone rock to convincing jazz with such authority.”
Christian was awarded the #1 spot in Downbeat magazine’s Critics Poll (Rising Star Violin) in 2011. He was also nominated for “Violinist of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2011.
Following a string of self-produced albums through the ‘90s, Christian stepped into a larger arena by moving to New York, where he soon became an in-demand figure on the scene. A classically-trained player, he quickly earned a reputation in jazz circles by playing with the likes of trumpeter Randy Brecker, trombonist Steve Turre, guitarist Joel Harrison, pianist D.D. Jackson, saxophonist Greg Osby, drummer Dafnis Prieto, Dave Samuels’ Caribbean Jazz Project, Bill Evans’ Soulgrass, crossover pioneers Spyro Gyra and the legendary guitarist-inventor Les Paul.
A former associate professor at the Berklee College of Music, Christian Howes founded his innovative Creative Strings Workshop in 2003– a week-long camp occurring annually in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, which attracts students of all ages and from all over the world. Through intimate instruction from some of the top creative string players and an intense performance schedule at venues throughout the city, participants gain experience with improvisation-based music and the life of a gigging musician.
He has been invited to teach or present at The New School, Singapore International String Conference, Oberlin College, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, University of New Mexico, University of Southern California, Ohio State University, IAJE, NAMM, IMEA, OMEA, KASTA, FMEA, AASTA, the Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp, Jazz Connections, and hundreds of high schools and middle schools. Christian endorses Yamaha violins and pickups, and D’Addario strings.
“It used to be you could hardly find a good jazz violinist. Nowadays there are four for five really good players, but there is nobody better than this guy.”
“I have had the pleasure of having Mr. Howes perform twice at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival. His incredible energy and unparalleled virtuosity gave the group a singular edge. Christian is also a superior composer and arranger, as well as a brilliant violinist. He is without doubt one of the finest artists in Modern Contemporary jazz.”
“Violinist Christian Howes is one of the most exceptional artists on his instrument in contemporary music. The jazz world is blessed with a number of fast-emerging artists who bear the stamp of true creativity. Christian Howes is certainly among that number. I highly recommend his artistry and his artistic enterprise.”
“I first heard Christian Howes in a crowded room with lots of noise, but what he was saying on that fiddle would have cut through anything. Chris is the real deal. He’s playing as much as anybody has ever played on jazz violin. I can’t wait to hear what he’ll play next.”
“I don’t know of any other violinist who has so many qualities as a violinist as Christian has, both in terms of a really astonishing technical facility and true musicianship. He has both a classical sensibility and a true jazz sensibility. It’s really an incredible package. And, I’ve never encountered any jazz musician who can do what he did in terms of reading my tunes. We just raced through all of the tunes and he sight-read them one time through – and some of them are extremely difficult. He also has a tremendous technical facility that I’ve never encountered before from any instrumentalist. Obviously with the things that he’s been through, like his prison experience, his classical experience and the jazz stuff, it’s all really had a profound influence on his music. I saw that, even at such a young age, he had already lived such a great deal, and that really comes out in his music.”
For info on Christian’s educational resources for improvising musicians:
More educational Resources: https://christianhowes.com/education-home/