Regina Carter is the foremost jazz violinist of her generation. Her quest for beauty, combined with her passion for excellence, did not escape the attention of the MacArthur Foundation, which awarded her its prestigious fellowship “genius grant.” Carter’s recent release, Ella: Accentuate the Positive, and touring program, “Simply Ella,” mark the hundredth birthday of a musical legend. The program celebrates the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald—the source of Carter’s musical inspiration. An influence she has cherished throughout her life, Carter describes her visceral connection to Ella’s music:
“Growing up in Detroit, there was always music playing in our home. While there was a variety of music I enjoyed, there were a few recordings and artists I found consistently captivating. Ella Fitzgerald was one of these exceptions. To this very day, whenever I hear an Ella recording it grabs me at my core. I’m entranced by her voice, her melodic improvisations and the passion and artfulness with which Ella sings a song. She helps me understand a song by providing a window to its essence. In a word, Ella is sublime, and she is at the top of my go-to list when learning a jazz tune. Perhaps Jimmy Rowles said it best, ’Music comes out of her. When [Ella] walks down the street . . . she leaves notes.’ I’m so excited to celebrate Ella Fitzgerald, an artist who has meant so much to all the notes in my musical life.”
A talented, charismatic player who is almost single-handedly reviving interest in the violin as a jazz instrument.
—Los Angeles Times
Ms. Carter is enormously gifted, bringing a blues sensibility to her improvisations.
—New York Times
Her impeccable pitch, lovely grace notes and delicately bent pitches reminding listeners of why she practically has become a symbol of jazz violin in our times. Moreover, she reaffirms that music as wholly accessible and entertaining as this also can be smart and sophisticated.