(NEWARK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) has announced that acclaimed jazz violinist Regina Carter will serve as Artistic Director of this summer’s All-Female Jazz Residency. Carter succeeds the late jazz pianist and composer Geri Allen, the residency’s founding Artistic Director.
Carter will be accompanied in her new position by a collective of music professionals, some of whom will be faculty members for the week-long curriculum and others as visiting artists to conduct master classes. The overnight residency at Rutgers University-Newark is open to young women musicians, ages 14-25, from July 8-14.
A Grammy Award nominee and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant,” Carter expressed delight over the prospect of leading this summer’s session.
“This is a proud moment,” she said. “It’s a rare opportunity to nurture a community and build confidence in young women of jazz who are embarking on careers in the industry or considering their options. They’ll hear straight talk – and learn in the best possible ways – from first-in-class professionals I’m also grateful to call colleagues and collaborators.”
Alison Scott-Williams, NJPAC’s Vice President of Arts Education, said Carter’s artistic leadership will perpetuate the momentum and goals of the residency, which experienced a transition following the death of Geri Allen on June 27, 2017.
“No doubt Regina Carter’s stature as a ‘musician’s musician’ and longtime, empathic educator will have a profound influence on the All-Female Jazz Residency,” she added. “Learning from such a virtuoso is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for these young women, who will be challenged all week to reach higher, play more authentically, and work together.”
Held in partnership with the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers-Newark, the fifth annual jazz intensive invites students to reside, learn and rehearse at “Fifteen Wash,” the recently restored historic skyscraper on the Rutgers campus at 15 Washington St. An accomplished faculty is an essential part of this unique residency: Students travel from across the country to study and play elbow-to-elbow with their musical s/heroes.
This year’s faculty includes jazz drummer and educator Sylvia Cuenca; trumpeter Tanya Darby (University of North Texas College of Music faculty); saxophonist Mark Gross, NJPAC’s Director of Jazz Instruction; bassist Marion Hayden (University of Michigan School of Music faculty); vocalist Connaitre Miller (Howard University jazz faculty); pianist and composer Ellen Rowe (also University of Michigan School of Music faculty), and saxophonist Bruce Williams, a professor of jazz at The Juilliard School and a member of the World Saxophone Quartet.
Master classes will be held by pianist and 2010 NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron, a multi-Grammy Award nominee (The Juilliard School faculty); jazz drummer and three-time Grammy winner Terri Lyne Carrington (Berklee College of Music faculty); Grammy-nominated singer Carla Cook (Temple University and The New School faculties); saxophonist Tia Fuller (also Berklee College of Music faculty and a member of Beyoncé’s all-female touring band), and vibraphonist and multi-Grammy nominee Stefon Harris(Artistic Director of Jazz Education, Manhattan School of Music).
By working with these respected mentors, students refine their instrumental or vocal skills through individual lessons and small ensemble work. The All-Female Jazz Residency offers industry panel discussions and classes in improvisation, musicianship, jazz theory and more. A timeline survey introduces students to pacesetters as far back as Ma Rainey and as up-to-the-minute as Esperanza Spalding.
Being in Newark, a city steeped in jazz history, allows the young musicians to take field trips to such jazz landmarks as the Institute of Jazz Studies, the studios of WBGO Jazz 88.3FM, and performance spaces, including Clement’s Place at “Fifteen Wash.” Studies culminate with a student concert at NJPAC.
Auditions are not required for this jazz immersion program. Information about applications and tuition is available at (973) 353-7058 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Grammy-nominated artist Regina Carter, the violin isn't simply an improvisational vehicle; it’s a passport to unexpected realms. Her quest for beauty combined with her passion for excellence did not escape the attention of the MacArthur Foundation, which awarded Carter their prestigious MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant.” San Francisco Performances also took note of Carter's exceptional work and appointed her Artist-in-Residence for five years. She also served as one of the Resident Artistic Directors for the discerning SFJAZZ during its inaugural season in its spectacular new home. Most recently, the acclaimed violinist was selected as the 2017 Showcase Artist for the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival and in 2018 was appointed Artistic Director of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s All-Female Jazz Residency, a unique summer immersion program for aspiring women jazz professionals.
Her albums reflect that singular quest for beauty. In 1995, Carter released her self-titled solo debut on Atlantic Records. She released three more albums in rapid succession after her debut: Something for Grace (1997), Rhythms of the Heart (1999) and Motor City Moments (2000). Traveling to Genoa, Italy and making history being the first jazz musician and African American to play the Guarneri del Gesù violin inspired her next effort, Paganini: After a Dream, in 2003. I'll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey (2006) became a powerful and heartfelt tribute to her late mother. The connection to family, history, and tradition continued into Reverse Thread (2010) and Southern Comfort (2014), drawing ties between her own African heritage and her family’s history. Her most recent release, Ella: Accentuate the Positive (2017), celebrates the music and spirit of her inspiration: musical legend Ella Fitzgerald.
NJPAC is located One Center Street in Newark, New Jersey.