Talk about your child prodigies. Columbus native Christian Howes had his first violin lessons at the age of five and was sufficiently accomplished at 16 to perform the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.
And that's only part of the story, because Howes, who speaks eloquently for the violin's place within a jazz milieu, presents a manic and frenzied performance style that is as far from the prim and proper leanings of his classical background as a wool overcoat on a warm summer's day. Even those Clevelanders who remembered the violinist from his early gigs at Night Town several years back were surprised by the sheer kinetic energy of his Tri-C JazzFest performance in the spring of 2002.
Duly inspired by the energy that Howes can generate in a live setting, guitar ace Les Paul said of Howes, "It doesn't get any better than this guy." And Paul is just one of a growing cadre of Howes supporters and employers that includes David Murray, James Carter, Jack DeJohnette, and D.D. Jackson. With four self-produced albums under his belt and an equal number of unique ensemble projects at hand, Howes maintains an active schedule and is currently on the road in support of his newly released Jazz on Sale (Khaeon World Music). Recorded in Spain, this all-acoustic recital featuring jazz standards proves to be something of a departure for the thirtysomething violinist, who clearly has many more surprises in store.