Jodie Christian

February 2, 1932 – February 13, 2012

Instrument piano
Birthplace Chicago, IL

Available Leadsheets

Jodie Christian was one of the most in-demand pianists in Chicago during the 1950s, but he never rose to great fame because he never left his hometown. Despite Chicago’s undeniable jazz history, New York was the epicenter of the jazz universe when Jodie was active, and thus he earned the reputation of “one of those great players who never came to New York.” But he excelled nonetheless, working with all of the biggest artists of the time: Lester Young, Johnny Griffin, Coleman Hawkins, Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt, Eddie Harris, Sonny Rollins, Don Byas, Milt Jackson, Benny Carter, Frank Foster, Red Holloway, Teddy Edwards, Leo Parker, Ira Sullivan, and more.

Jodie was a versatile pianist with a creative improvisational voice. Although he made a large impact as an accompanist for big names passing through Chicago, his impact was also great as a co-founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, an experimental collective and music advocacy group that worked to change the way music was played and presented in the Chicago area. The Association is still active today.