Regina Carter will teach courses in jazz performance and history alongside instrumental lessons and masterclasses


Photo: Chris Drukker

Regina Carter

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US jazz violinist, composer and educator Regina Carter has been appointed to the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music faculty, beginning her role this year. She will teach courses in jazz performance and history, as well as urban musical culture. She will also offer lessons and masterclasses for the School of Music’s students. Carter has already had links with the school, delivering the keynote address at their 2021 commencement celebration. As an educator, she has also served on the New Jersey City University and Manhattan School of Music faculties. 

Dean of the UCLA School of Music Eileen Strempel said about the appointment: ’We are thrilled to welcome Regina Carter. She has achieved a stellar career by pursuing her passion for excellence and forever taking musical risks. She is the embodiment of what it means to be a twenty first-century musician.’

Carter has praised the school’s 21st-century curriculum, saying ’The program doesn’t lock students down. It’s important to get a broad education, in order to be prepared for the real life of a musician.’ And about her appointment she says, ’I hope to inspire creative transformations within young musicians.’

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Carter began her violin education at the age of four. She later studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, and the Oakland University in Michigan for jazz. She taught violin in the Detroit public school system and a U.S. military base in Germany. She was also a member of the all-female jazz quintet Straight Ahead and has toured with the String Trio of New York. She released her debut album in 1995, and has released several more since. 

In 2001 Carter became the first jazz violinist, Black musician and woman, to perform a concert in Genoa playing Niccoló Paganini’s  ‘Il Cannone’ violin. She received the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 2007, Doris Duke Award in 2018 and honoured as an NEA Jazz Master Fellow in 2023. She is recognised for her multi-genre playing, which includes styles ranging from jazz, R&B and Latin, to classical, blues, Afro-Cuban and others. She is also an advocate for giving more opportunities to female jazz musicians and in 2018 was named artistic director of the New Jersey Performing Arts All-Female Jazz Residency. She has also been nominated for several Grammy Awards for best instrumental jazz solos on various albums.

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