Life After Prison: Journey to Becoming The World’s Best Jazz Violinist


In our first episode with Christian Howes we talked about what it was like during his four years in prison and what he learned about the human spirit (if you haven’t listened yet, then start here).

In part two, Christian dives into what life has been like after prison, and what it took for him to beat the odds and rise to the top of the jazz world.

Have you ever felt like you messed up so bad in life that it would be impossible to recover from the damages and make something of yourself?  My brothers story is a great lesson to all that it’s not about the mistakes you make, but who you choose to become after you make them.

He has taught at the most prestigious music schools and plays in the biggest venues alongside the most talented artists alive. Thanks for joining us on this powerful part two with Christian Howes; post prison.

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The School of Greatness Podcast

Christian Howes on the School of Greatness Podcast with Lewis Howes

“When you practice being creative, you have to learn to trust yourself and you have to learn to do it for yourself.”

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Creativity Starts with Infinite Choice
  • The Ironic Paralysis of Infinite Choice
  • To See Your Unseen Culture of Education
  • The Difference Between Being the Best and Being Distinct
  • That the More you Have on the Line, the More Risks You Take, The More Creative you Become
  • That Business is an Extension of Creativity, Even if You’re an Artist
  • How to Captivate and Engage Audiences Throughout a Presentation
  • Plus much more…

Everyone of us has the ability to be immeasurably powerful because of our unique voice. We only need to be able to follow it through.

Continue Seeking Greatness:

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“Creativity starts with infinite choice.”

Did you enjoy the podcast?

What was the key takeaway from this episode with Christian?  I’d love to hear your open thoughts in the comments section below.  And as always, please share this episode with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.

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Lewis, have been listening to the show now for a few weeks and have been loving it.  Just went back and found this one yesterday.  Both parts were fantastic - Thanks to you and Christian.  However, I can't BELIEVE you don't have this posted in the show notes.  Such a very cool way to end the episode that I had to go find it.  Thanks again for everything that goes into the show.  Best, Jack



Awesome stuff.

On restrictions in creativity, your brother seems to be taking directly after Stravinsky:

"My freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles. Whatever diminishes constraint diminishes strength. The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one's self of the chains that shackle the spirit."

It's a great tactic that I use in my own compositions and creative endeavors. Restrictions beget creativity.


I've been listening to your show for a while. Perhaps it's because I  used to play the cello and get the urge to every now and then to play... but THIS episode - well, both episodes (part I and part II) spoke to my soul. They challenged me to continue to strive to show up in the world as the greatest version of myself and all I can really say in this moment is thank you. This episode made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me want to explore my authenticity and creativity in a brand new way. My work is centered around legacy and this right here has me digging deeper. With love and gratitude. Theresa.


I've been listening to your podcasts since I first saw you on creative Live. This one was a step above though. So interesting to hear a very personal journey by both you and your brother. I particularly enjoyed (and took away a lot) Chris' take on creativity and how to many choices can be so paralyzing. It helped me understand some of my own struggles. Thanks Lewis. Your the best!

Anna Vallez
Anna Vallez

I love your family so much even though I've only had the pleasure to have Heidi in my life. Each and every one of you are an inspiration to me.


As a music business competitor (if there really is such a thing) of Chris's, I admit to, at first, not wanting to like anything he had to say, but eventually, after seeing so much of his successes, decided to dig in and see if I could find out what made this guy tick, and was pleasantly surprised at how eloquent he is, with a good message that has actually not only inspired me but also taught and reminded me of a few important things in music and life!  Chris is very deserving of all his successes in my opinion!  Nice interview (even if it was a bit of nepotism ;~)... just kidding guys!


I'm so blown away by your vulnerability with this one, as well as your brother's willingness to be so open with his story.  I am so drawn into your podcasts, and particuarly the recent ones since you went to the leadership seminar.  

For me, being authentic, vulnerable and transparent is everything.  It's how I live my life and continue to push deeper into this realm as a mom, chiropractor, wife, writer and business person.  Keep on this path, Lewis.  It's awesome.  Thank you.

P.S.  If you haven't read any of Brene Brown's books yet, you'd love them.  Her TED talk on vulnerability is the most watched TED talk with over 12 million views.  Love to see her on your pocast!


I don't look forward to too many podcasts, but I COULD NOT WAIT for the release of the second half of this conversation.  The realness of this conversation was so compelling and inspiring.  I loved the idea of filtering the possibilities into creativity.  Thanks for the openness.


Amazing. A breath of fresh air in this stale fart of an Internet Marketing world. 

Your brother is remarkable.

F'ing remarkable.

My hats off to him.

Thank you, Lewis.

If I can be of any help to you, let me know.


Man, that was powerful, great and beautifully awesome. Just an unbelievably insightful and profound interview. 

Catrina Vargas-Cormell
Catrina Vargas-Cormell

The first part was really good, looking forward to listening to the second part!


So excited to listen to this one, the first part waas craaay! Oh, such a freaking honor meeting you at NMX Lewis, thank you for being a part of the online mentors I love. 

LewisHowes moderator

@meganjphoto pleasure is all mine Megan, thanks for being so open, honest and real! 


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