Preeminent violinist Regina Carter put on a fascinatingly beautiful performance tonight as she and her band kicked off the opening performance of the 2011 Bellevue Jazz Festival at the Theatre at Meydenbauer Cente. If the rest of the Festival is half as good as Regina was tonight it will be a festival full of wonderful performances that I will not want to miss. Click on the above link to get to the schedule for the rest of the festival.

Regina performed music from her latest recording Reverse Thread. In 2006 Carter was awarded a MacArthur Fellows Program grant which armed her with the funds and the freedom to follow her muse and create the arrangements for Reverse Thread.

Carter made the decision to record this album primarily influenced by African folk tunes. To achieve the uplifting and stirring result, she added an accordion and kora, the West African harp traditionally played by village storytellers, to her longstanding rhythm section. Kora virtuoso Yacouba Sissoko was brought on board to help recreate the spirit of passing stories from generation to generation. The result is a beautiful compliment to Carter’s sumptuously seductive violin.

Regina Carter also turned to the World Music Institute in New York City, in which she found a diverse and inspirational resource for material. She looked not just to the music, but also the accompanying sounds and nuances of everyday life from anthropological and sociological perspectives.

With Reverse Thread, Regina Carter takes a giant step forward by making a meaningful musical contribution on her own terms. Regina Carter, Violin; Yacouba Sissoko, Kora; Will Holshouser, Accordion; Chris Lightcap, Bass; Alvester Garnett, Drums and Percussion

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