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Release: Sept. 8, 2000

Jazz violinist Regina Carter performs in University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium Sept. 26

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Jazz violinist Regina Carter, riding the wave of her chart-topping 1999 CD "Rhythms of the Heart," will perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 26 in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium.

In addition to her three acclaimed solo albums, Carter has been busy demonstrating her versatility across the recording industry, with appearances on releases by popular artists including Cassandra Wilson, Lauryn Hill, May J. Blige, Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, Max Roach and Billy Joel. Just two nights after her Hancher concert, Carter will be featured with Sir Simon Rattle in an Ellington-tribute concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

One of the engagements that helped bring Carter to public attention was her appearance -- on tour and recording -- in Wynton Marsalis’ Pulitzer Prize-winning "Blood on the Fields," including a performance in Hancher.

Carter says that when she stepped onstage to audition for Marsalis the only thing on her mind was "I hope I make a lasting impression." But by the end of her performance, all the flabbergasted Marsalis could do was ask, "Where’d you come from?"

The answer is Detroit, where Carter jammed and gigged with a variety of jazz bands -- including the all-female group Straight Ahead -- before relocating to New York in the early 1990s. She started on piano at the age of two, but switched to violin at four, learning through the Suzuki method. "It was a different way of learning that didn't force reading," she explains. "Basically you were just playing the instrument and having fun with it. It was a very loving type of system, that really helped my ear."

Immersed at first in classical music, with the goal of performing in a major symphony orchestra, Carter changed course when she was exposed to the music of French jazz-violin legend Stephane Grappelli and contemporary fusion violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. Following their lead, Carter is on a mission to change the way most people think about violin.

"I think a lot of people look at the violin and they get a little nervous," Carter notes. "They have a stereotype of what the violin is -- very high, kind of shrill-sounding with long notes, and a lot of vibrato. It doesn't have to be that at all, it can be a very fiery persuasive instrument and that’s how I like to use it. I don't think of how to make the violin work in this music. For me, it just does. I don’t feel that I have a lot of limitations -- I feel like I can do anything."

Some of Carter’s playing evokes the late Frenchman Grappelli, who with guitarist Django Reinhart set the music world on its ear 70 years ago. But to that straight-ahead jazz style, she adds elements of funk, African and Brazilian music, and soul to create what Charlie Hunt of the Detroit Free Press described as " a mean and feisty violin."

Carter’s concert opens Hancher’s 2000-2001 jazz programs. Other jazz events during the season are Nicholas Payton’s Louis Armstrong Centennial Celebration on Nov. 1; the Mingus Big Band Jan. 20; and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Sextet Jan. 26.

Cantebury Inn & Suites is the corporate sponsor of the Regina Carter concert, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Tickets are $23, $21 and $18. UI students and senior citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, with Zone 2 and 3 tickets available to UI students for $10. Tickets for audience members 17 and younger are half price.

Ticket-buyers may take advantage of volume discounts on most events in the season. A simultaneous purchase of three to five events qualifies for a 15-percent discount, and a simultaneous purchase of six or more events qualifies for a 20-percent discount.

Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail at <>.

People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Learn more about Regina Carter on the World Wide Web at the Verve records website: < >. For UI arts information, visit this new address -- -- on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>.