MacArthur Genius and Doris Duke Artist Award recipient Regina Carter is rightfully considered jazz’s leading violinist, but just a short list of her collaborators should effectively illustrate how broad is the scope of her art: Wynton Marsalis, Ray Brown, Mary J. Blige, Chucho Valdés, Billy Joel, Dolly Parton, Omara Portuondo, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, and the list goes on. Whatever the present task at hand, you can always count on Carter’s music being smart, virtuosic, and alive.
Tonight’s performance will close out our Spring Jazz Festival with a special program entitled Gone in a Phrase of Air. This collection of original and reimagined music explores our country’s numerous communities—predominantly African American—displaced and dispossessed in the name of urban renewal. Make no mistake, though: despite these unjust losses, this performance is not solely lamentation; this is equally and importantly a celebration of these places and their iconic musicians, including neighborhoods in Carter’s hometown of Detroit as well as in Boston, St. Louis, Durham, Chicago, Lubbock, and more. As with any of Carter’s work, it will surely “reach a broad range of listeners and strike a responsive chord. Listeners who have ties to similar communities will enjoy the message and the music, and others new to these stories will discover the vibrancy and spirit of these lost places.”