Jazz violinist Carter opens Glenwood Summer of Jazz | AspenTimes.com

Jazz violinist Carter opens Glenwood Summer of Jazz

John StroudGlenwood Springs correspondentAspen, CO Colorado

Regina Carter shot in Manhattan on March, 5, 2010

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Jazz virtuoso Regina Carter merges her distinctive jazz violin with African folk music on her new album “Reverse Thread,” sounds from which she’ll share with a local crowd eager for the start of the 25th anniversary season of the Glenwood Springs Summer of Jazz.Carter opens the free, six-concert series Wednesday in Two Rivers Park, beginning at 7 p.m., in what will be the farewell year for the founders of the popular series, Bob and Mary Noone.Summer of Jazz opens a full two weeks later than usual, which has actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise given the turbulent weather earlier this month, Bob Noone said.”When we realized we only had enough money for six concerts this year, we decided to start a little bit later to get into the nicer weather,” he said.The Wednesday forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and a high of 88, with only a 4 percent chance of rain – perfect for an evening in the park with family and friends, a picnic dinner and some jazz music.”I’ve known about her for years,” Noone said of Regina Carter, whom he’s been trying to book for several years. “We’ve wanted to have her here in Glenwood for some time, and we were finally able to line her up.”She plays a very distinctive jazz violin, and her new CD mixes a lot of African rhythms,” he added. “It’s very energetic, fun music … great for escaping from the hibernation of the last few months.”When Carter decided to record an album primarily of African folk tunes, her challenge was to take beautiful traditional music and infuse it with a contemporary feel, while remaining true to its past, according to the artist’s website (www.reginacarter.com).To complement her violin, for the album she combined accordion and kora, the West African harp traditionally played by village storytellers, to her long-standing rhythm section.The album was recorded with the support of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation, which awarded Carter as a MacArthur Fellow, commonly known as the “genius grant.”According to her website, Carter turned to the World Music Institute in New York City, “in which she found a diverse and inspirational resource for material, including ethnographic field recordings.”Regina looked not just to the music, but also the accompanying sounds and nuances of everyday life from anthropological and sociological perspectives which informed the spirit of the new arrangements.”Emphasized Carter, “There is an immense amount of amazing music coming from all around the world, much of which is barely accessible. Reverse Thread gave me the opportunity to explore and celebrate a tiny portion of music that moved me.”Carter has repeatedly toured throughout the world, was the first jazz artist and African American to play Niccolo Paganini’s famed Guarneri “Cannon” violin, has been featured with several symphony orchestras and performed with artists as diverse as Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Billy Joel, Kenny Barron and Mary J. Blige.Summer of Jazz is still trying to make up an $8,000 deficit to fund this year’s concert series, and volunteers will be passing the hat at the intermission. Collector’s edition 25th anniversary T-shirts, designed by Pat and Mike McCarney of Akomplice Designs in Carbondale, will also be on sale.The Summer of Jazz series continues June 30 with the Marcus Roberts Trio and will continue on Wednesday (except July 21) through Aug. 4. To donate to the Summer of Jazz online and for more information, visit summerofjazz.com.jstroud@postindependent.com