Ron Carter, widely recognized as one of the most original and influential bassists in jazz, returns this month to his alma mater, the Eastman School of Music, to perform with his quartet at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, in Kilbourn Hall and to receive an honorary doctoral degree.
Described as “the epitome of jazz elegance and rectitude” and a master of improvisation by DownBeat magazine, Carter was a member of Miles Davis’s legendary 1960s quintet. He also has performed with Cannonball Adderley, Thelonious Monk, Hubert Laws, Lionel Hampton, and Joe Henderson.
Carter has more than 2,500 albums to his credit, recording with such greats as Tommy Flanagan, Gil Evans, Lena Horne, Bill Evans, B.B. King, the Kronos Quarter, Dexter Gordon, and others. He has scored and arranged music for films and television and is the author of several books on playing jazz and classical bass studies.
The winner of two Grammys, Carter was named Jazz Bassist of the Year by DownBeat and voted Outstanding Bassist of the Decade by the Detroit News. He was also named Most Valuable Player, Acoustic Bass, by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
Carter earned his bachelor’s degree at Eastman in 1959. As a student, he played in the Eastman Philharmonia and in his own jazz groups around the city. In 2002, Carter received the University of Rochester’s Hutchison Medal, the highest honor the University gives to its alumni in recognition of outstanding achievement and notable service to the community, state, or nation.
Carter has lectured, conducted, and performed at clinics and master classes at numerous colleges. He was Artistic Director of the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz Studies while it was located in Boston. He was named Distinguished Professor Emeritus by the City College of New York after 18 years on the college’s music department faculty.
Carter is appearing at Eastman during the School’s “Eastman Weekend,” which combines traditional events such as class reunions and family weekend with lectures, discussions, musical events, and presentations geared to the School’s community. The celebration takes place Oct. 15 to 17 and coincides with the University of Rochester’s Meliora Weekend.
Carter will be awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Music at the conclusion of the concert.
Tickets to the Ron Carter Quartet concert are $15 to $25 (discounts with UR ID), and are available at the RPO Box Office, 108 East Ave., (585) 454-2100.
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Saturday, October 16
Ron Carter Quartet
Kilbourn Hall, 26 Gibbs St.
Tickets: $15 to $25, discounts with UR ID. Available at the RPO Box Office, 108 East Ave.; by phone: 585-454-2100; by fax: 585-454-7885; online: www.esm.rochester.edu/concerts/tickets.php