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Jazz violinist Regina Carter will diverge from the genre for which she’s best known when she brings her “Southern Comfort” tour to campus on Friday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m. in Palmer Auditorium.
Carter’s show — the finale of the 2014-15 season of onStage at Connecticut College — will pull from her new album, also titled “Southern Comfort,” in which she explores the type of music her coalmining grandfather would have heard in Alabama. To learn about that music, the MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient took a scholarly approach, visiting the Library of Congress and listening to the Appalachian field recordings of folklorists like Alan Lomax and John Work III. She also sought out distant relatives and books in order to produce her modern take on Cajun fiddle music, early gospel and coalminer work songs.
“In the Appalachians there were Scottish and Irish descendants, slaves and Native Americans,” said Carter. “It was a cultural hodgepodge and the music resulting from it is intoxicating. This disc was to pay homage to my family, but it turned out to be so much more.”
“She’s the foremost jazz violinist of her generation, but she has also successfully ventured into classical and African music with the same passion she has for jazz,” said Robert Richter ’82, the College’s director of arts programming. “I think that passion stems from her personal connections to the music she chooses, and ‘Southern Comfort’ is no exception. I’m thrilled that she’ll be closing out a wonderful season of onStage.”
Tickets for the show are $22, $20 for seniors and $11 for students. For tickets and information, call 860-439-2787 or visit onstage.conncoll.edu.