Regina Carter & Xavier Davis
Regina Carter & Xavier Davis
Regina Carter – Violin
Xavier Davis – Piano
“Regina Carter creates music that is wonderfully listenable, probingly intelligent and, at times, breathtakingly daring… taking the listener into the future of jazz”
Two virtuosos in their own right, Regina Carter and Xavier Davis have undertaken numerous collaborations stretching back to 2004, and as a result now share an electric and near-telepathic connection on stage. Hailed as the foremost jazz violinist of her generation, Carter is a MacArthur fellow and recent recipient of the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award whose quest for beauty and passion for excellence finds a complementary musical voice in Davis’ accomplished artistry, yielding an intimate and unforgettable concert experience.
For Grammy-nominated artist Regina Carter, the violin isn’t simply an improvisational vehicle—it’s a passport to unexpected realms. In addition to receiving a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation, San Francisco Performances also took note of her exceptional work and appointed her Artist-in-Residence for five years. Carter also served as one of the Resident Artistic Directors for the discerning SFJAZZ during its inaugural season in its spectacular new home. Most recently, the acclaimed violinist was selected as the 2017 Showcase Artist for the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival and in 2018 was appointed as the Director of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s All-Female Jazz Residency, a unique summer immersion program for aspiring women jazz professionals.
Carter’s albums reflect her aforementioned singular quest for beauty—in 1995, she released her self-titled solo debut on Atlantic Records. She then released three more albums in rapid succession: Something for Grace (1997), Rhythms of the Heart (1999), and Motor City Moments (2000). Traveling to Genoa, Italy and making history being the first jazz musician and African American to play the Guarneri Del Gesu violin inspired her next effort Paganini: After a Dream in 2003. I’ll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey (2006) became a powerful and heartfelt tribute to her late mother. The connection to family, history, and tradition continued into Reverse Thread (2010) and Southern Comfort (2014), drawing ties between her own African heritage and her family’s history. Her most recent release, Ella: Accentuate the Positive (2017), celebrates the music and spirit of her inspiration: musical legend Ella Fitzgerald.
Xavier Davis‘ professional career as a jazz pianist took off when the legendary vocalist Betty Carter spotted his outstanding talent at the 1994 International Association of Jazz Educators convention in Boston while he was performing with his college ensemble. It was Carter who brought Davis to New York, hiring him exclusively as the pianist of her working trio. Today, Davis is one of the most accomplished jazz pianists worldwide. Having led master classes and clinics all over the world and coming from a family of music educators himself, Davis takes a keen interest in passing on knowledge and skills to young musicians. As such, he is proud to be an Associate Professor of Jazz Piano at Michigan State University. Davis was also a member of the teaching staff in the jazz department of the Juilliard School of Music in New York for six years prior to that.
Davis has performed and recorded with many world-famous jazz artists including Freddie Hubbard, Tom Harrell, Christian McBride, Regina Carter, Stefon Harris, Abbey Lincoln, Wynton Marsalis, Don Byron, Nat Adderley, Nicholas Payton, Jon Faddis, Jimmy Greene, Steve Turre, Al Foster, and Jeremy Pelt, among others. His talent has been featured on more than 50 albums, including Christian McBride’s The Good Feeling, which won a Grammy award in 2012. As a bandleader, Davis has released two critically acclaimed albums: Dance of Life and The Innocence of Youth.