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Jazz Violinist Regina Carter to Headline Margaret A. Hart '35 Scholarship Concert at MCLA

10/15/2010

NORTH ADAMS, MA - American jazz violinist Regina Carter will headline this year's Margaret A. Hart '35 Scholarship Concert at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) as part of the College's MCLA Presents! performance series. 

The concert, entitled "Reverse Thread" after Carter's latest album, will take place on Saturday, Oct. 23, at 8 p.m. in the MCLA Church Street Center. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $10 for members, and are free for MCLA students.

"Reverse Thread" consists primarily of African folk music. Carter combines traditional tunes with a contemporary feel. Her music features an accordion and koraóthe - the West African harp traditionally played by village storytellers - as the songs recreate the spirit of passing stories from generation to generation.  

O Magazine wrote, "...Carter is a knockout violinist who leads a knockout band."  And, Time Magazine said, "Regina Carter creates music that is wonderfully listenable, probingly intelligent and, at times, breathtakingly daring...taking the listener into the future of jazz." 

Her influences have ranged from R&B and 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 New England Conservatory and Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in performance. 

Also an educator, mentor and proponent of the Suzuki method for teaching students the violin, Carter has taught at numerous institutions, including the Berklee College of Music and the Standford Jazz Workshop.

Carter first came into the spotlight as the violinist for the all female pop-jazz quintet Straight. They released a trio of albums including their self-titled debut, "Body and Soul," and "Look Straight Ahead." Carter went solo before the release of the third album, "Dance of the Forest Rain," and began a run that establisher her as a force in the jazz world on the violin, according to Jonathan Secor, director of special programs at MCLA.

In December 2001, Carter traveled to Genoa, Italy, where 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, she returned to Genoa to accomplish another milestone-using the treasured violin to record her classical-infused album. And, in 2006, Carter won the MacArthur Fellowship, given to individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits.

Carter's master classes with violin giants, Itzak 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 her with experience to play with a range of artists.  

She has performed with Ray Brown, Dr. Billy Taylor, Marian McPartland, Kenny Barron, Wynton Marsalis, Randy Weston and Cassandra Wilson, as well as with pop icons Dolly Parton and Billy Joel. In addition, she has recorded with vocalists Patti Labelle Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige and Lauryn Hill, as well as with pianists Kenny Barron and Danilo Perez, guitarist Rodney Jones, saxophonist James Carter, Quartet Indigo and the String Trio of New York. 

MCLA Presents! is a program of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC), a collaborative project with Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) and the City of North Adams. The BCRC provides professional development training, resources and support to the artists, art managers and creative workers of Berkshire County. Through its multiple programs and presentations, BCRC brings the best of performance and art to the Berkshires and showcases the best of the Berkshires to the world. 

For tickets, call 413-662-5204. For information, call 413-664-8718, or go to www.mcla.edu/presents .