Billy Childs Quartet

Verbrugghen Hall 3.30pm

NB Separately ticketed event OR entry with Festival GOLD Pass

Billy Childs  piano 

Danya Stephens   saxophone  

Alex Boneham  contrabass 

Christian Euman  drums and cymbals 

Quadruple Grammy winning composer and pianist, Billy Childs, has a reputation as the foremost American composers of his era. Touted as possibly the most distinctly American composer since Aaron Copland for he has successfully married the musical products of his heritage with the Western neoclassical traditions of the twentieth century in a powerful symbiosis of style, range, and dynamism. A native of Los Angeles, Childs grew up immersed in jazz, classical, and popular music influences. A prodigious talent at the piano earned him public performances by age six, and at sixteen he was admitted to the USC School of the Performing Arts, going on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition. By his early 20’s Childs was already an in-demand performer in the L.A. jazz scene before he was discovered by trumpet legend Freddie Hubbard, with whom he embarked on a successful performing and recording tour. Childs recorded and performed with a number of other influential jazz musicians including J.J. Johnson, Joe Henderson, and Wynton Marsalis before landing a record deal with Windham Hill Records in 1988, where he released four critically acclaimed albums for the label. For his SCIJF performance he leads a quartet of some of the worlds brightest young musicians. 

Simultaneously with his recording career, Childs has occupied a parallel niche as an in-demand composer. His orchestral and chamber commission credits include Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, The Los Angeles Master Chorale, The Kronos Quartet, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The American Brass Quintet, The Ying Quartet, and The Dorian Wind Quintet. Childs has received thirteen Grammy nominations (winning four) and has received many of the US highest artistic accolades including a Chamber Music America Composer’s Grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, the music award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters and in 2016, Childs was appointed President of Chamber Music America.  

Billy Childs has worked, recorded and performed with artists as diverse as Renee Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Wayne Shorter, Alison Kraus, Dianne Reeves, Chris Botti, Esperanza Spalding, Lisa Fischer, Susan Tedeschi, Rickie Lee Jones, Shawn Colvin, Ledesi, Becca Stevens, Chris Potter, Brian Blade, Steve Wilson and Jerry Douglas., Sting, Renee Fleming, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Chick Corea, The Kronos Quartet, Wynton Marsalis, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Ron Carter, The Ying Quartet, and The American Brass Quintet.