Thursday, October 16, 2014, 4:05pm


Leverett Old Library

regina carterPresented By Learning From Performers

Master of improvisational violin and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, Regina Carter will participate in a conversation entitled "Down Home: The Musical Heritage of the American South," co-sponsored by the Celebrity Series of Boston. Moderated by Prof. Ingrid Monson, Quincy Jones Professor of African American Music, the conversation will cover Carter's career and her latest recording, "Southern Comfort," which she describes as "music suggested by my grandfather's roots in Alabama,” interpretations of Cajun fiddle music, early gospel, and coal miner's work songs in addition to some more contemporary tunes.

Regina Carter will appear in concert at Harvard's Sanders Theatre on Friday, October 17 at 8 pm, presented by Celebrity Series of Boston. Tickets are available online Celebrity Series or by calling 617.482.6661.

Members of the Harvard community pay just $30 for tickets with the code OFA30 by using this link.

Regina Carter began playing her instrument at age four and attended Detroit's prestigious Cass Technical High School. Upon graduating, she departed for the new England Conservatory of Music, only to return to Michigan to join the all-female jazz quartet Straight Ahead. After two recordings for the Atlantic label, Carter left the band in 1994 in search of a solo career. She had already been doing session work in the city and sought to make the move permanent. Carter found herself working with Max Roach, the String Trio of New York, and the Uptown String Quartet before recording her self-titled debut recording on Atlantic in 1995. Its mixture of R&B, pop, and jazz confused jazz fans and delighted pop critics. It sold well enough for her to record "Something for Grace," which leaned in a jazz direction though it featured an R&B sheen in its production.

Carter left Atlantic for Verve in 1998 and recorded two more outings under her own name, the last of which, "Motor City Moments," is her finest session. In 2001, Carter recorded a duet session with Kenny Barron that has been universally acclaimed for its lyrical qualities and stunning range of dynamics and harmonic invention. She has since released the classically influenced "Paganini: After a Dream" in 2003 and the American songbook album "I'll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey" in 2006 as a tribute to her late mother. She won a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in September of that year.

After much time spent touring and a sojourn in Africa, Carter emerged with "Reverse Thread" in 2010 on the E1 imprint. The album is comprised mainly of African folk tunes from countries as diverse as Mali, Uganda, and Senegal among others. Her sidemen on this recording include accordionists Will Holshouser and Gary Versace, guitarist Adam Rogers, acoustic bassist Chris Lightcap, electric bassist Mamadou Ba, kora master Yocouba Sissoko, and drummer Alvester Garnett. Using many of the same musicians, Carter furthered her exploration of earlier musics on "Southern Comfort," which explored in detail as well as in concept the roots of American music. It was released in March of 2014. (Biography by Thom Jurek)

Support for this program generously provided by the Bernard H. and Mildred Kayden Artist in Residence Fund.