The Canadian press

Terri Lyne Carrington is the definition of Black Girl Magic.

NEW YORK – Terri Lyne Carrington is only 11 years old and is hanging out with her friend “Ella” – that’s Ella Fitzgerald to us mortals – backstage in a concert hall – and the jazz legend wants to introduce her to jazz virtuoso Oscar Peterson, who just did it has finished performing. “Ella Fitzgerald says,” You have to hear her, “recalls Carrington, now 55.” She was just someone who encouraged me and hung out with me. She was shy and I disarmed because I was a kid. She liked me “So Peterson invites the young drummer to perform with him before the audience escapes. They jam on stage and impress the crowd. One participant – then president of Berklee College of Music – was so excited that he won a Carrington scholarship.” for the extraordinary music school. “It was really because Oscar let me play, but (also) because Ella introduced me to him and told him to hear me,” she said. Carrington was literally anointed by jazz legends and was for greatness Four decades later She has proven that she is not only great, but also groundbreaking. She deserves the highest award for jazz artists, the prestigious NEA Jazz Masters Award, the three-time Grammy-G ewinnerin is nominated for best instrumental jazz album – an award she won in 2014 and 2014 is the only woman in the show’s 63-year history to do so. She worked as a musical and cultural consultant on the hit Disney / Pixar animation “Soul” to ensure it accurately portrayed the jazz world. And she’s the founder and artistic director.She has been with college for nearly 16 years and is very familiar with Zoom thanks to the recent pandemic. She is the personification of Black Girl Magic. “I knew she’d open a few doors since she was around 12,” said Wayne Shorter, eleven-time Grammy winner and jazz icon. “She is one of the best drummers in the world. She has a lot of finesse. They decorated. And it can drop bombs too. “87 year old Shorter remembers auditioning 12 drummers for a tour and hearing Carrington play, which impressed him. “When Terri was playing, she messed things up,” he said before using his mouth to mimic her drumming. It started slowly and then quickened its rattle. “She did some historical things,” he continued. “She made the bass drum sing and the tenor drum sing and the snare drum, not just a rattle, she knew how to put pressure on, let go and have a flow (set). She knew how to tell a story. “” We didn’t tell all the other drummers who this would be. We just said, “We’ll call you later.” And once everyone was gone we said, ‘Terri Lyne, you stay here. ‘Carrington, who grew up in Medford, Massachusetts – just minutes from Berklee, Boston – first played the saxophone and piano but fell in love with the drums at 7. She became a drummer in The Arsenio Hall Show decades ago “Known nationwide and received her first Grammy nomination in 1989 with her debut” Real Life Story “. 22 years later she received her second Grammy nomination and her first win with her fifth album, “The Mosaic Project”. And she’s improved her skills on the street, playing alongside Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, John Scofield, Dianne Reeves, Stan Getz, Cassandra Wilson, David Sanborn, Clark Terry, Joe Sample, Woody Shaw, Diana Krall and James Moody. She continued to make history at the Grammys on March 14th. “Waiting Game”, her album with her band Social Science, which deals with important topics such as politics, racism, sexuality and police brutality, is nominated for the best jazz instrumental album, which she previously won for “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue” in 2013 and the winner is. The only other front woman to receive a Grammy nomination was Carrington’s mentee, veteran saxophonist Tia Fuller, for an album produced by Carrington. “The jazz instrumental category is a really big category. Getting to the top through jazz critics is something I don’t take lightly. Mostly because I didn’t think the critics would get this recognition at all, ”said Carrington, who won DownBeat magazine’s Critics Poll for top jazz artist, top jazz album and top jazz group and made the drummer the first instrumentalist wins in all three categories in the same year in the magazine’s 68-year history. “These critics seem to be an older generation, I don’t want to say white guys, that’s what it feels like … If they take this album like they really taught me a lot,” she said. “Not to judge other people. Other people are really cooler than you thought. I really had to look at myself. I just felt, “You won’t get it.” And they did. “Carrington spent three years developing Waiting Game, which features collaborations with Esperanza Spalding, Rapsody, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Meshell Ndegeocello, and others. “I wanted to surround myself with people who were younger than me, who had their pulse on what’s going on in jazz today,” she said. But Carrington is still kind of a spring chicken in jazz. At 55, she is one of the youngest to receive the NEA Jazz Masters Award and one of the few female instrumentalists to have received this award. Fitzgerald was 68 when she entered the famous jazz club and Sarah Vaughan was 65 and received the award a year before her death. “It’s always a great honor to be the first to break something. I think I’ve had a long career with it, ”said Carrington. But she adds that she “has seen it differently since I was the first woman to win a Grammy in instrumental jazz. I think from that moment on I felt that as much as I am honored to have received these awards and prizes, the bigger problem is that it has never happened before. Before me, there were women who did a lot of great work, including Geri Allen. “Even with the Grammy, I was the first woman nominated in this category. That seems really crazy to me and it really speaks for how we need to change that. With this triple crown win with DownBeat, it’s the same feeling. “Carrington has a number of theories when it comes to the lack of female jazz instrumentalists on the scene, starting with the fact that there just aren’t enough of them. “There are many reasons for this patriarchy. We can go back. When slavery ended, men could travel. You could go out on the street and bring your guitar and play in local music venues and make money. That was respectable, but not for women, ”she explains. Carrington said it was okay for women to sing or play instruments like the piano, violin, or even flute later on. “Instruments that for some reason feel more feminine for a society that treats instruments in a gendered manner,” she says. “Sitting at the piano is very different from sitting at the drums. I sit with open legs on a drum kit, stand in front of a band, lead a band and blow a horn – that just wasn’t really what was accepted. “Most of the time (women) have to work harder and don’t have the same access and support. It’s not fun, so women give up. “Did Carrington ever stop or think about it?” Never, “she says boldly, adding,” Well, because I had support. My dad was my greatest champion and he knew everyone and nobody really messed with me because I was kind of protected that way. I didn’t have to worry about some of the silly things. I had access to all of these great musicians. I had talent that they wanted to deal with. “And now she wants to make sure she hands over the torch. “I’m late for the party,” she admits. “I was just very worried about being the best musician possible and following my dream. Then finally I was like “Whoa!” What am I doing to really help this situation? When I realized I wasn’t doing much, I decided I had a responsibility. “Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press