Terri Lyne Carrington - BIOGRAPHY

Bio (Long, 853 words)

Celebrating 40 years in music, NEA Jazz Master and three-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 and in 1989 released a GRAMMY®-nominated debut CD on Verve Forecast, Real Life Story. 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, and many more. Ms. Carrington’s 2015 release, The Mosaic Project: LOVE and SOUL, featured performances of iconic vocalists Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, and Nancy Wilson.

In 2003, Ms. Carrington received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music and was appointed professor at the college in 2005, 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 a guiding principles. She also serves as Artistic Director for The Carr Center, Detroit, MI. and for Berklee’s Summer Jazz Workshop.

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. Her current collaborative project, Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science (formed with Aaron Parks and Matthew Stevens), released their debut album, Waiting Game, in November, 2019 on Motema Music, 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.

Both Waiting Game and the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice point to Carrington’s drive to combine her musical talents with her passion for social justice. The subjects addressed on Waiting Game run the gamut of social concerns: mass incarceration, police brutality, homophobia, Native American injustice, political imprisonment, and gender justice.

“In previous projects I’ve hinted at my concerns for the society and the community that I live in,” Carrington says. “But everything has been pointing in this direction. At some point you have to figure out your purpose in life. There are a lot of drummers deemed ‘great.’ For me, that’s not as important as the legacy you leave behind.”


Waiting Game was nominated for a 2021 GRAMMY® award and has been celebrated as one of the best jazz releases of 2019 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'..." Ms. Carrington was named as JazzTimes Critics Polls’ Artist of the Year, Jazz Artist of the Year by Boston Globe, and Jazz Musician of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Bio (Short, 403 words)


With technical wizardry and profound creativity, NEA Jazz Master, Terri Lyne Carrington, has become one of the giants of today’s jazz music. A three-time GRAMMY Award-winning drummer, composer, producer, and educator, Carrington began her professional career at only ten years old and received a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music at the age of 11. She is the first female artist to ever win the GRAMMY Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, which she received for her 2013 work, “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue.” Over the four-decade-plus span of her career, she has played with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Lester Bowie, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Stan Getz, Al Jarreau, John Scofield, Pharoah Sanders, and Esperanza Spalding among countless other jazz luminaries.


In 2019, Carrington received the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award as recognition of her important work in the field. 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. Her artistry and commitment to education earned her honorary doctorates from Manhattan School of Music and Berklee College of Music, where she currently serves as founder and artistic director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, whose mission is to recruit, teach, mentor, and advocate for young musicians seeking to study jazz with racial justice and gender justice as guiding principles. She is also the artistic director for the Carr Center in Detroit, as well as Berklee’s Summer Jazz Workshop.


To date, she has released eight albums, including her 2011 work, “The Mosaic Project: LOVE and SOUL,” which features a leading cast of superb female instrumentalists and vocalists, such as Regina Carter, Natalie Cole, Lalah Hathaway, Ingrid Jensen, Chaka Khan, Ledisi, Meshell Ndegeocello, Patrice Rushen, Nancy Wilson, Lizz Wright, and others. Carrington also combined forces with David Murray and the late Geri Allen to form the MAC Power Trio. Their 2016 release, “Perfection,” is a tribute to Ornette Coleman. In 2019, Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science released their critically acclaimed double album, Waiting Game, a project that elevates social justice issues, featuring pianist Aaron Parks and guitarist Matthew Stevens. The album was nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award, and won 3 awards in the 2020 Downbeat International Critics Poll for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Group of the Year.

new standards vol. 1 - album release


Listen to “Respected Destroyer” from new STANDARDS - vol. 1: https://bit.ly/RespectedDestroyer 


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. 

About Candid Records

Between 1960 - 1963 founder, A&R man, and producer Nat Hentoff recorded over 30 extraordinary albums for the new Candid Records label.  One cannot underestimate the breadth of these recordings - From bebop, to the avant-garde, to blues.  Candid sat dormant for years until Black Lion Records founder and producer, Alan Bates, bought the label in 1989.  Picking up where Hentoff left off, Bates recorded, and acquired a wide variety of jazz artists.  He signed American treasures like legendary journey-man pianist Kenny Barron, the great organist Shirley Scott, and saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr., and with a keen eye for emerging talent, he helped launch the careers of Jamie Cullum and Stacey Kent.  The next phase of Candid Records is happening now.  Titles from the Hentoff years are being restored and remastered. There’s new music from Stacey Kent (Songs From Other Places), a Best Latin Jazz Album Grammy win for Brazilian pianist (and vocalist) Eliane Elias’ Mirror Mirror album with the legendary Chick Corea and Chucho Valdés, and an album from jazz giant Wayne Shorter with Terri Lyne Carrington, esperanza spalding and Leo Genovese (Live At The Detroit Jazz Festival.) Today’s Candid is not only committed to its legacy but looks forward to defining its future with the quality of music that is synonymous with its heritage.  Learn more at www.candidrecords.com


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