Name of Presenter
Internationally Acclaimed Musician
Date of Conference
Regina Carter's career has been a veritable crescendo of success that shows no sign of letting up. She is on a mission: to make a meaningful musical contribution and do it on her own terms. Indeed, she tours with relentless purpose and a seemingly endless supply of energy. Over the past seven years, Ms. Carter and her group have brought audiences to their feet with exhilarating performances worldwide. In 2006, Ms. Carter won the highly esteemed MacArthur Fellowship, which is given to individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits.
During the 2007-08 season, Ms. Carter continues to lead her group through an extensive, national and international tour. Along the way, she will perform music from her critically acclaimed release, Paganini: After A Dream, with music from her latest release, I'll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey, both on the Verve record label.
Back in December 2001, Regina Carter traveled to Genoa, Italy and made history: She became the first jazz musician and first African American to play the legendary Guarneri del Gesu violin owned by classical music virtuoso and composer Nicolo Paganini. Less than a year later, Carter returned to Genoa to accomplish another milestone-using the treasured violin to record her classical-infused album.
Regina Carter's recent triumphs by no means came without paying her dues as a side person, a student and her early musical experiences, in her hometown, Detroit, Michigan. Carter's master classes with violin giants, Itzak Perlman and Yehudi Menuhin, as well as her association as a member of the Detroit Civic Symphony Orchestra and with the pop-funk group, Brainstorm, provided the needed experience to play with a range of artists. Ms. Carter has had the opportunity to perform, with such jazz luminaries as, Ray Brown, Dr. Billy Taylor, Marian McPartland, Kenny Barron, Wynton Marsalis, Randy Weston and Cassandra Wilson. She has also performed with POP icons, Dolly Parton and Billy Joel. During the 2002 – 2003 season, Ms. Carter and her touring band began performing with numerous orchestras including, the Atlanta Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra. Ms. Carter and her band also performed a special engagement with the Boston Pops, featuring classical virtuoso, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and celtic star, Eileen Ivers. Together, the three violinists debuted a song written especially for them, by Chris Brubeck (Dave Brubeck's son), entitled, "Interplay."
Just as prolific as her accomplishments on stage are Carter's performances on record. Included in her discography, along with recordings with Patti Labelle Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige and Lauryn Hill are recordings with vocalists, Cassandra Wilson and Carmen Lundy, trombonist, Steve Turre, pianists Kenny Barron and Danilo Perez, guitarist Rodney Jones, saxophonist James Carter, Quartet Indigo, led by cellist, Akua Dixon and the String Trio of New York.
Her influences have ranged from R&B to East Indian, to classical music. As a college student, Carter took on a double major in classical music and African American music at both the prestigious New England Conservatory and Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Performance.
Regina currently has five discs under her own name, two on Atlantic Records, Regina Carter (1995) and Something for Grace (1997). In 1998 Regina changed record labels and in the spring of 1999 Rhythms of the Heart made it's debut under the auspices of VERVE Records (Universal). Her fourth CD, Motor City Moments, was released in September 2000 and is a tribute to the musical legacy of her hometown of Detroit. Freefall, a collaboration with pianist Kenny Barron was released in the spring of 2001 and was nominated for a GRAMMY Award in February 2002. The aforementioned Paganini: After A Dream, was released in April 2003 and her latest CD, I'll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey, made its debut, in June of 2006. On this disc, Regina pays homage to her late mother by performing music from the 20's, 30's and 40's.
Regina Carter, one of the most popular contempoary violinists in modern music, further reveals her diverse musical personality with the upcoming release Reverse Thread — a celebration of traditional African music with a modern perspective.