7:00 p.m., Thursday, April 27, 2006
The Elkin Isaac Research Symposium Joseph S. Calvaruso Keynote Address was presented by internationally acclaimed jazz violinist Regina Carter. During her recent appearance at Lincoln Center, Ms. Carter's accolades included this note: "The rising star slot is for lush and adventurous violinist Regina Carter, who continues to astound with the breadth of her vision and sophistication of her sound."
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.
During the 2006/2007 season, Ms. Carter will continue 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, along with music from her new release, I'll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey, due out in June of 2006, both on the Verve record label.
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, Itzhak 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. Her current CD, Paganini: After A Dream, was released in April 2003. Her new release, I'll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey, was just recorded and will make it's debut, in June of 2006. On this disc, Regina recorded music from the 20's, 30's and 40's and it is a posthumous tribute to her mother.
Regina Carter continues to reveal a distinctly diverse musical personality. She's become one of the most popular young violinists in modern music today.