FirstWorks Welcomes Regina Carter to RISD Auditorium Tonight

FirstWorks Welcomes Regina Carter to RISD Auditorium Tonight

Considered the foremost jazz violinist of her generation, violin virtuoso Regina Carter and her quintet are coming to Providence for the first time. FirstWorks, Providence's premiere performing arts curator, announced that tonight, October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm at the RISD Auditorium, Carter will perform a special open-to-the-public concert after her multi-day FirstWorks' Arts Learning Residency, engaging with students across Rhode Island. Known for her soulful and rooted blending of musical genres, Carter will perform tracks from her latest Southern Comfort album, a continuation of her quest to explore her family roots through the sounds of the violin.

Regina Carter's technical prowess and musical genius has been celebrated for decades. Having started her journey in music at the age of two, Carter took the jazz world by storm with her lush tones and sophisticated technique early in her career. Since then, she has been on a musical exploration that led to her selection as a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Fellow in 2006, and creation of a body of work that pays homage to her family roots, through an alchemy of folk, blues, and gospel with jazz.

Southern Comfort is a tour-de-force of timeless traditional Southern folk songs infused with mid-20th century jazz and R&B, creating soulful and modern arrangements with the raw grain of their original history. It continues Carter's discovery of her roots through earlier albums that featured her mother's favorite early jazz standards (I'll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey) and traditional African music re-imagined for violin, accordion, bass, drums and kora (Reverse Thread).

"Regina is a modern master exploring the music at the heart of the American experience, through her own family's past. Her latest voyage takes us to the music of her paternal grandfather," said FirstWorks' Executive Artistic Director Kathleen Pletcher. "I've been following her work since FirstWorks began bringing performing artists from the world to Providence ten years ago. Regina is one of those remarkable creative forces we look for - an artist who is pushing the envelope in their artistic medium."

Carter joins FirstWorks on October 14 for a multi-day arts education residency. FirstWorks is entering its third year of developing arts learning curriculum in jazz, working with leading artists such as Wynton Marsalis' Jazz at Lincoln Center. Last year the program engaged nearly 1,000 students in learning about jazz and the Harlem Renaissance. Carter's residency expands this program in area public schools in Rhode Island. Her performance on Saturday, October 18 will culminate her stay.

The Regina Carter Quintet is: Regina Carter, violin; Will Holshouser, accordion; Marvin Sewell, guitar; Chris Lightcap, bass and Alvester Garnett, drums. Tickets are $20-45 and are available for purchase at or call 401-421-4281.

Regina Carter's Arts Learning Residency is presented in partnership with RISD's Center for Student Involvement; additional support is provided by the Expeditions Program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from the six New England state art agencies.

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