Share Tweet Share Email

Music’s Ron Carter to look through cultural lens to help promote a better understanding of jazz

February 13, 2012
Ron Carter

Ron Carter

Jazz stands among America’s greatest art forms, boasting roots in the African-American culture and a foundation in the African tradition.

So says Ron Carter, director of jazz studies in the NIU School of Music.

Carter, who was named an NIU Board of Trustees Professor in 2009, will host a Board of Trustees Professor Seminar at noon Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Capitol Room of the Holmes Student Center.

The event is open to the public, and no registration is necessary. Refreshments will be served at 11:30 a.m.

During his presentation, Carter will discuss the jazz tradition as well as how the evolution of jazz parallels the growth of the American popular music culture.

He will include historical information and recordings to give a special understanding of how his research of more than 35 years has been an important part of the growth of the NIU Jazz Studies Program as well as Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Carter will describe concepts taught in his jazz classes and how his students apply those ideas as they tour across the country and around the world to perform. He also plans to involve the audience in trying those methods.

“Ron Carter’s lifelong devotion to playing jazz, equipping young people to carry on that tradition and sharing the music he loves with audiences around the world makes him a treasured member of our campus community,” NIU Provost Raymond Alden said.

“We’re all looking forward to this glimpse inside Ron’s mastery of jazz and how he engages his students in this uniquely American musical style. I expect we’ll all leave tapping our toes.”

Ron CarterProfessor Carter, who came to NIU in 1994, also serves as lead artist for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Band Director Academy and as an education consultant for the Essentially Ellington program.

Carter has facilitated workshops as guest conductor, artist, clinician or adjudicator for colleges and universities nationwide and also has directed 20 All-State Jazz Bands.

He spent nearly two decades in the St. Louis metropolitan area as both an educator and as a professional musician. Carter has performed professionally with Clark Terry, Lou Rawls, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Frank Mantooth, Terell Stafford, Orbert Davis, Rodney Whitaker and many others.

Some of his honors and awards include Downbeat Magazine’s Hall of Fame, the 1991 Milken National Distinguished Educator Award and the JazzUnites Chicago “We Love You Madly” Jazz Award.

Carter recently performed at the Detroit International Jazz Festival with Paquito D’Rivera and at the “Jazz in the Parques” Jazz Festival in Bogata, Colombia.

The Feb. 21 presentation is sponsored by Office of the Provost and the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center. For more information, call (815) 753-0595 or email [email protected].