The Artistry of … Regina Carter

Her life has been one filled to the brim with wonderfully varied artistic experiences. Her studying started early. Carter was enrolled by her mom in the Detroit Community Music School when she was only four years old; a nod to community music schools. She took lessons in violin, piano and rounded the experiences off with classes in ballet and tap. This is where it all gets very cool. As a teen she played with the youth division of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Detroit Civic Orchestra and to stand that all on its ear she played in a pop-funk group named Brainstorm all the while still taking violin, viola, oboe, and singing in a choir. To add to an already sweet mix she taught strings in Detroit public schools. Oh so lucky Detroit. Regina is a MacArthur Fellows Program grant recipient. These are some of the selection committee’s words:

…a master of improvisational jazz violin. Though her work draws upon a wide range of musical influences – including Motown, Afro-Cuban, Swing, Bebop, Folk, and World – she has crafted a signature voice and style… performances highlight the often overlooked potential of the jazz violin for its lyric, melodic, and percussive potential…Through artistry with an instrument that has been defined predominantly by the classical tradition, Carter is pioneering new possibilities for the violin and for jazz.