The evening was originally scheduled to feature bassist Buster Williams, but Williams was forced to cancel because of a scheduling conflict. McBride, a star performer and the co-director of the nascent museum, agreed to step in.
The series continues with drummer Rudy Lawless on January 26, tuba player Howard Johnson on February 9, and Paul Robeson Jr., who will speak about his father's legacy, on February 23.
McBride launched his career in 1989 at age 17, when he joined saxophonist Bobby Watson's group. After stints with Ray Brown, Pat Metheny, Roy Hargrove, and others, he released Gettin' To It, the first of six albums as a leader. A year ago, he was named co-director of the Jazz Museum; several months later, he was appointed creative chair for jazz at the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
In addition, McBride and Loren Schoenberg, the executive director of the Jazz Museum, will give a free concert at the Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem on January 14.
For more information about both events, visit www.jazzmuseuminharlem.org.