Saxophonist James Carter to perform at Bates

One of the most acclaimed young saxophonists on the contemporary jazz scene will perform in concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 1, in the Bates College Chapel. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Olin Arts Box Office.

James Carter strikes a remarkable balance between mainstream and free jazz. “His all-embracing musical vision and volcanic tone blow away all distinctions between swing, bop and free jazz,” said Downbeat magazine. “Rather than honoring the classic comp ositions with a stiff neck, Carter blows their guts out, turning jazz back to its roots,” Playboy magazine said. Carter’s recordings have made both The New York Times and the Village Voice’s year-end best-of-lists.

A 27-year-old native of Detroit, Mich., Carter grew up in a family of musicians with a broad range of musical styles. He emerged on the national scene as a 17-year-old when he toured with Wynton Marsalis.

Carter later began to play with trumpeter Lester Bowie, founding member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, who called his protege: “the greatest sax player to come around since Coltrane…He’s the tenor player of the future.”

Membership in the Julius Hemphill Sextet,accompanied by album recordings with Hemphill and Bowie before he even turned 20, led Carter to frequent appearances with the Marsalis Big Band at Lincoln Center.

Since his performance on the 1991 Tough Young Tenors album, Carter has released JC on the Set in Japan (DIW, 1993) and (Columbia, 1994). Two 1995 albums followed: The Real Quietstorm (Atlantic Records), a ballad-dominated set that rose to number four on Billboard’s Topboard Jazz Albums chart and Jurassic Classics (Columbia DIW).

Conversin’ with the Elders (Atlantic, 1996), combines his passionate playing with a group of musical guests including Bowie; trumpeter Harry “Sweets” Edison and tenorist/clarinetist Buddy Tate, both veterans of the Count Basie Orchestra; baritonist H amiet Bluiett of World Saxophone Quartet; and altoist Larry Smith, a mainstay of the Detroit jazz scene.

As a leader of his quartet, Carter has performed extensively throughout the United States, appearing in every major music festival, and tours Europe several times a year. He was featured in Robert Altman’s 1996 film Kansas City and performed the movie’s soundtrack.

The recipient of numerous awards including the first 1995 Cal Arts/Alpert Award, granted to young artists who are making a significant impact in theater, dance, visual arts, music and film/video, he was a first-place winner of N2K’s Global Jazz Poll Aw ard on Jazz central radio in 1996.

The concert is sponsored by the College Concert Series. For more information, call the Olin Arts box office at 207-786-6135.

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