Rahav Segev /Photopass.com
Regina Carter. Rahav Segev /Photopass.com
"Music Goes Round and Round" (Farley, Hodgson, Riley)
"Chattanooga Choo Choo" (H. Warren, M. Gordon)
"Black Orpheus" (L. Bonfa)
"In a Sentimental Mood" (E.K. Ellington)
"I Can't Believe You're in Love With Me" (J. McHugh, C. Gaskill)
"Blue Monk" (T.S. Monk)
"Softly As in a Morning Sunrise" (O. Hammerstein, S. Romberg)
On this episode of Piano Jazz, violinist Regina Carter brings her nimble approach to a delightful set of duets in "Blue Monk," "Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise" and more. The classically trained Carter was raised in the musical melting pot of Detroit, and performs this set of standards with relaxed confidence.
"I thought it was a wonderful show. She is a great speaker about her music,"
host Marian McPartland says. "She picked some funny, off-the-wall tunes. I was surprised to hear very old tunes like 'Chattanooga Choo Choo' and 'Music Goes Round and Round.' She did everything with a lot of flair. Her tone and beauty of expression are both so fabulous."
Regina Carter, born in Detroit, began studying piano at age 2 and moved to violin at 4. Her mother enrolled her in the Detroit Community Music School. She played in the youth division of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and had the opportunity to take master classes with Itzhak Perlman and Yehudi Menuhin. As a teenager, Carter attended Cass Technical High School, and she was exposed to the full range of music that Detroit had to offer, including R&B and funk, and at 16 that she became enthralled with jazz.
After graduating high school, Carter began studying classical music at the New England Conservatory of Music. The institution did not have a jazz program, and after two years she transferred to Oakland University in Michigan to concentrate on jazz full-time. She studied with Marcus Belgrave, who connected her with the Detroit jazz scene. After graduation, she taught strings in Detroit's public schools, then spent two years in Germany teaching violin on a U.S. military base. She then made the move to New York, where she worked with Max Roach, Cassandra Wilson and Kenny Barron, as well as Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Billy Joel and Dolly Parton. She also recorded with the Uptown String Quartet. In 1995, Carter released her first solo album, Regina Carter, and in 1997 she released a second album dedicated to her mother, Something for Grace, and toured with Wynton Marsalis' production Blood on the Fields.
Carter was the first jazz artist to perform and record on Niccolo Paganini's famous Guarneri violin, which led to her album Paganini After a Dream. In 2005, she received a MacArthur Fellowship, which helped fund her research into African folk rhythms and ultimately her 2010 album Reverse Thread. She also won the violin category in the 2010 JazzTimes reader poll.
Originally broadcast on Dec. 30, 2003.