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Regina Carter
Regina Carter
Regina Carter

Regina Carter
@ the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre
14 November 2011

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Desert Island Discs

Which 2 albums would you take with you to a desert island?

Shirley horn – Here’s to life
Anything by James brown


Regina Carter’s immersion in music began at the age of two when she took up piano, followed by violin at the age of four. Forever indebted to the Suzuki method of music teaching, the approach freed her from the rigid restraints of solely reading music and opened her to the wonders of improvisation. Though her original focus was classical music, with the hope of being a soloist with a major symphony, the pull of Detroit’s rich soul music legacy and the discovery of jazz broadened her horizons.

Carter attended Detroit’s prestigious Cass Technical High School. Upon graduating, she departed for the New England Conservatory of Music, only to return to Michigan’s Oakland University, seasoning her chops by gigging with several local musicians. She later joined the attention-grabbing all-female quartet Straight Ahead which recorded two albums for Atlantic Records. Carter departed the band in 1994, recording two solo albums for Atlantic while also making the most of her newfound New York connections by working with the likes of the String Trio of New York, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Greg Tate and the Black Rock Coalition.

Carter joined Verve Records in 1998 and has since recorded four critically acclaimed works of astounding maturity and variety: “Rhythms of the Heart,” “Motor City Moments” (also produced by John Clayton) and “Paganini: After a Dream “(for which she made history by being the first African American and jazz musician to travel to Genoa, Italy to perform and record with the legendary Guarneri del Gesu violin owned by classical music virtuoso Niccolò Paganini), and a duet project with pianist Kenny Baron entitled “Freefall.” Her playing has also graced work that includes filmmaker Ken Burns’ soundtrack for the PBS documentary, Jazz; Wynton Marsalis’ opera Blood on the Fields; Cassandra Wilson’s tribute to Miles Davis, Traveling Miles; and the queen of hip-hop soul Mary J. Blige. In the summer of 2006, Carter joined Latin Jazz pianist Eddie Palmieri for some dates related to his latest recording, the Grammy® award-winning, “Listen Here,” on which she was also a guest.

Among her personal accomplishments is work she has done to spread the love of music to others, something that is touched upon in her one original composition on “I’ll Be Seeing You.” “My producer, John Clayton always insists that I write at least one original piece on every album,” she says. “I chose ‘How Ruth Felt,’ which is a commissioned piece that I wrote for a woman named Ruth Felt, President of San Francisco Performances, an arts organization in San Francisco. I spent some time as an Artist-In-Residence there, teaching music to disadvantaged children and spreading the joy of music to people in community centers and churches around the Bay area. Ruth helped me tremendously while I was dealing with my mother’s illness. I included ‘How Ruth Felt’ on my album as a way to say, ‘Thank you.’”

Lamin Kuyateh

Lamin Kuyateh Lamin Kuyateh

Regina Carter

Regina Carter

Regina Carter

Regina Carter

Regina Carter

Regina Carter

Regina Carter Band



Reverse Thread I'll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey Kenny Barron & Regina Carter - Freefall Paganini: After a Dream
Motor City Moments Regina Carter Rythms of the Heart Something For Grace

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