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UCLA’s Herb Albert School of Music Announces New Faculty Member 

Jazz violinist Regina Carter will join the school to teach jazz performance and history and urban music culture


The acclaimed jazz violinist Regina Carter will join The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music faculty in 2024. Carter will teach courses in jazz performance and history and urban musical culture, plus offer lessons and masterclasses. 

Known for playing multiple musical genres, Carter is a three-time Grammy Award nominee — most recently for best-improvised jazz solo in Pachamama on Thana Alexa’s 2020 album “Ona.”

Among her accolades include the 2007 MacArthur Fellowship, a Doris Duke Award in 2018, and being honored as an NEA Jazz Master Fellow in 2023.

Carter joined the Detroit Civic Symphony at age 12 and continued her studies at the New England Conservatory and Michigan’s Oakland University. She established herself as a leading jazz violinist upon moving to New York.

Her self-titled first CD in 1995 highlighted her virtuosic talents in R&B-inflected jazz. She has since collaborated with artists in styles ranging from Afro-Cuban and southern blues to bebop to European classical music. 

Carter’s breakthrough came in 2001, when she became the first jazz violinist (plus the first Black and female musician) to perform a concert in Genoa on Paganini’s famed 1743 “Il Cannone” Guarneri violin.

As an educator, she has also served on the faculties of the New Jersey City University and the Manhattan School of Music.

“We are thrilled to welcome Regina Carter,” said the Schools of Music’s inaugural dean, Eileen Strempel in the press release. “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.”

“Regina Carter is a generational talent, and she practically reinvented jazz violin,” added Steve Loza, professor and chair of global jazz studies at UCLA. “She’s also an accomplished teacher and collaborator, so we are all excited to have her here.”

“The students explore many things in the School of Music … music theory and practice, sound engineering, world music courses, jazz, all of it,” said Carter. “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. I hope to inspire creative transformations within young musicians.”

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june 2024

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