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Terri Lyne Carrington - BIOGRAPHY

Bio (Long, 805 words)

Celebrating 40 years in music, NEA Jazz Master and four-time GRAMMY® award-winning drummer, producer and educator, Terri Lyne Carrington started her professional career in Massachusetts at 10 years old when she became the youngest person to receive a union card in Boston. She was featured as a “kid wonder” in many publications and on local and national TV shows. After studying under a full scholarship at Berklee College of Music, Carrington worked as an in-demand musician in New York City, and later moved to Los Angeles, where she gained recognition on late night TV as the house drummer for both the Arsenio Hall Show and Quincy Jones’ VIBE TV show, hosted by Sinbad.

While still in her 20’s, Ms. Carrington toured extensively with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock, among others. In 2011 she released the GRAMMY® award-winning album, The Mosaic Project, featuring a cast of all-star women instrumentalists and vocalists, and in 2013 she released, Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue, which also earned a GRAMMY® Award, establishing her as the first woman ever to win in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category.

To date Ms. Carrington has performed on over 100 recordings and has been a role model and advocate for young women and men internationally through her teaching and touring careers. She has toured or recorded with luminary artists such as Al Jarreau, Stan Getz, Woody Shaw, Clark Terry, Diana Krall, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, James Moody, Yellowjackets, Esperanza Spalding, Kris Davis, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, and Nancy Wilson.

In 2019 Ms. Carrington was granted The Doris Duke Artist Award, a prestigious acknowledgment in recognition of her past and ongoing contributions to jazz music. Also in 2019, her collaborative project, Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science (formed with Aaron Parks and Matthew Stevens), released their album, Waiting Game, inspired by the seismic changes in the ever-evolving social and political landscape. The double album expresses an unflinching, inclusive, and compassionate view of humanity’s breaks and bonds through an eclectic program melding jazz, R&B, indie rock, contemporary improvisation, and hip-hop. Waiting Game was nominated for a 2021 GRAMMY® award and has been celebrated as one of the year's best jazz releases by Rolling Stone, Downbeat, Boston Globe and Popmatters. Downbeat describes the album as, “a two-disc masterstroke on par with Kendrick Lamar's 2015 hip-hop classic, 'To Pimp a Butterfly'..." and garnered three of their critics poll awards, Album of the Year, Group of the Year and Artist of the Year. Ms. Carrington was also named Artist of the Year by Jazz Times Critics Polls, the Boston Globe, and the Jazz Journalists Association.

Ms. Carrington has received honorary doctorates from Manhattan School of Music, York University and Berklee College of Music, where she currently serves as the Founder and Artistic Director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, which recruits, teaches, mentors, and advocates for musicians seeking to study jazz with racial justice and gender justice as guiding principles.

She has curated musical presentations at Harvard University, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the John F. Kennedy Center, and has enjoyed multi-disciplinary collaborations with esteemed visual artists Mickalene Thomas and Carrie Mae Weems and is also the artistic director for Detroit’s multi-disciplinary arts organization, the Carr Center.

In 2022, the curator and activist authored two books; a children’s book entitled Three of a Kind, on the making of the Allen Carrington Spalding trio, and the seminal collection, New Standards:101 Lead Sheets By Women Composers, another illustration of how she has worked tirelessly to fight for inclusivity and raise the voice of women, trans and non-binary jazz musicians. Accompanying the book is her latest album, new STANDARDS vol.1, featuring 11 selections from the songbook with an all-star band. 

The album, which ranges from ballads to experimental compositions, is timely and adventurous, exploring the multiverse of jazz, with Carrington (drums and percussion) joined by Kris Davis (piano), Linda May Han Oh (bass), Matthew Stevens (guitar), and Nicholas Payton (trumpet) and welcomes special guests trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, vocalists, Melanie Charles, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, electronic artist, Val Jeanty, guitarist, Julian Lage, flutist Elena Pinderhughes, percussionist Negah Santos and vocalists, Melanie Charles, Samara Joy, Michael Mayo, Dianne Reeves and Somi. In 2023, the album won a GRAMMY® Award for the best jazz instrumental album. 

Carrington also curated a multi-media installation to accompany and expand on the message of the New Standards book and new STANDARDS vol. 1 album. The installation premiered at Detroit’s Carr Center, and was later featured at the Emerson Contemporary Media Art Gallery in Boston.This ambitious series of projects were created to shine a light on women composers in historic new ways.

Ms Carrington serves as co-executive producer and musical director for the newly formed Jazz Music Awards and is a 2022 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 



Bio (Short, 235 words)

Terri Lyne Carrington is an NEA Jazz Master, Doris Duke Artist, and four-time Grammy award-winning drummer, composer, producer, and educator. She serves as Founder and Artistic Director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, as well Artistic Director for both Next Jazz Legacy program (a collaboration with New Music USA) and the Carr Center in Detroit, MI. She has performed on more than 100 recordings over her 40-year career and has toured and recorded with luminaries such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Stan Getz, Esperanza Spalding, and numerous others. Her artistry and commitment to education has earned her honorary doctorates from York University, Manhattan School of Music and Berklee College of Music, and her curatorial work and music direction has been featured in many prestigious institutions internationally. The critically acclaimed 2019 release, Waiting Game, from Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science earned the esteemed Edison Award for music and a Grammy nomination. In fall of 2022, she authored two books, Three of a Kind (about the forming of the Allen Carrington Spalding trio) and the seminal songbook collection, New Standards: 101 Lead Sheets By Women Composers. This book was accompanied by the album new STANDARDS vol.1 (Candid Records) which won the GRAMMY® Award for the best jazz instrumental album, and New Standards art installation, at Detroit’s Carr Center and the Emerson Contemporary Media Art Gallery, as part of the Jazz Without Patriarchy Project.

new standards vol. 1 - album release


Listen to “Respected Destroyer” from new STANDARDS - vol. 1: 


July 18, 2022 -- Drummer, bandleader, composer, producer, activist and educator Terri Lyne Carrington has worked tirelessly over her remarkable career to fight for inclusivity and raise the voice of women, trans and non-binary people in jazz. New Standards, her ambitious new project, was created to shine a light on women composers in historic new ways. New Standards will arrive this fall in the form of the first-ever lead sheet book of jazz compositions dedicated entirely to women composers, a newly recorded album of 11 selections from the songbook featuring an all-star band and dazzling line-up of special guests, and a multi-media exhibition at Detroit’s Carr Center.  


On September 16 Carrington will release new STANDARDS - vol. 1 on the relaunched Candid Records label, featuring recordings of 11 selections from the New Standards lead sheets book (see below for more info).  Carrington, on drums and percussion, is joined on the recording by a band of Kris Davis (piano), Linda May Han Oh (bass), Matthew Stevens (guitar), and Nicholas Payton (trumpet) and welcomes special guests Ambrose Akinmusire, Melanie Charles, Ravi Coltrane, Val Jeanty, Samara Joy, Julian Lage, Michael Mayo, Elena Pinderhughes, Dianne Reeves, Negah Santos and Somi.  The selections include harpist Brandee Younger’s “Respected Destroyer,” clarinetist Anat Cohen’s “Ima,” vocalist Abbey Lincoln’s “Throw It Away” as well as pieces by Gretchen Parlato, Carla Bley and more.  The recordings - which range from ballads to experimental compositions - are thrilling and adventurous and explore the limitless universe of jazz. 


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