News Release  



Kente Arts Alliance presents James Carter Quintet, Tribute to Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 7, 2018 - On Saturday, December 8, 2018, 8 pm, Kente Arts Alliance will present jazz saxophonist James Carter and his Quintet.  The band will perform a Tribute to Rahsaan Roland Kirk at the New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, Pittsburgh, PA 15212, Northside.  
"I feel that music equals life, that’s the way my teacher always taught me," said James Carter. "You just can’t go through life and experience it fully with a set of blinders on. I think there’s tremendous beauty in cross-pollinations of music and influences."


After Wynton Marsalis, no one caused more of an uproar than James Carter did when he burst on to the New York jazz scene from his native Detroit.  Primarily a saxophonist, his versatile mastery of most of the woodwind instruments is astonishing.  Carter’s debut recording, JC on the Set, issued in Japan when he was only 23 and in the States a year later in 1993, was universally acclaimed as the finest debut by a saxophonist in decades. 
Carter has won DownBeat magazine's Critics and Readers’ Choice award for baritone saxophone several years in a row. He has performed, toured and played on albums with Lester Bowie, opera sensation Kathleen Battle, the World Saxophone Quartet, Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater and the Mingus Big Band.
Carter, 49, is an impassioned student of the music who has incorporated all of jazz’s stylistic elements, from the traditional to the avant-garde, to create his own unique and immediately recognizable sound.  In many ways, weaving together divergent impulses is at the heart of Carter’s music. Like the late tenor sax titan Ben Webster, he’s given to furious, high-velocity solos, but is just as likely to wax sentimental, using his big, bruising tone to tenderly caress a comely melody. In 2000, he released two albums simultaneously that amounted to an anti-manifesto, a proclamation that everything is fair game.
On Chasin’ the Gypsy, a voluptuous, lyrical session partly inspired by the timeless collaboration between Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, he assembled a thrilling group with violinist Regina Carter and Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo, for a project born out of some sound check jamming with Lubambo and Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista during a tour with Kathleen Battle.
The groove-laden Layin’ in the Cut, featuring James Blood Ulmer’s former rhythm section with electric bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma and drummer Grant Calvin Weston, combines harmolodic freedom with a deep reservoir of funk, and developed out of a project inspired by another legendary guitarist, Jimi Hendrix.
Carter is also exploring a configuration, James Carter’s Elektrik Outlet, within which he has found a new groove to explore. Shifting his sax into a keen array of electronics and pedals just might be the perfect “outlet” for Carter to tap into that “frustrated guitarist” that he often describes himself to be. An excellent selection of tunes from Eddie Harris, Gene Ammons, Al Jarreau, Stevie Wonder, Minnie Ripperton and others provides impetus for Carter’s Elektrik Outlet to sizzle, slide, and pop. Adding energy to the group are fellow Detroit artists, Gerard Gibbs on electronic keyboards, Ralphe Armstrong on electric bass and Alex White on drums.
In his Pittsburgh performance, Carter will pay tribute to Rahsaan Roland Kirk who is arguably one of the most exciting saxophone soloists in jazz history. Kirk suffered a paralyzing stroke in 1975, losing movement on one side of his body, but his homemade saxophone technique allowed him to continue to play.  Beginning in 1976 and lasting until his death a year later, Kirk played one-handed.


Carter will perform his tribute to Rahsaan Roland Kirk with his James Carter Quintet which includes: 
James Carter, reeds
Gerard Gibbs, piano
Dick Griffin, trombone
Ralphe Armstrong, bass
Alex White, drums
"Carter’s ease with swing, bop and avant-garde styles also gave notice that a staggeringly inclusive figure-the apotheosis of the postmodern," Steve Futterman, Washington Post


"James Carter has cemented his reputation as one of the most adventurous, visionary young reed players on the cusp of this new millennium….Not as an outsider, but as one of the most exciting young virtuosos in contemporary music ..."  Chis Stern, Jazz Times
General Admission: Starting at: $35.00
Tickets are available online:
By phone: 888.71.TICKETS or 888-718-4253
Or at this location: Dorsey’s Record Shop (Homewood),
Kente Arts Alliance is a non-profit arts organization (501 (3) ©) that was established in 2007.  Since then it has presented some of the music world’s most legendary performers including Pharoah Sanders, The Last Poets, and Hugh Masekela, Roy Haynes, Randy Weston and the late Geri Allen.
For more information visit:  or call 412.322.0292.
The program is made possible in part by generous grants from The Heinz Endowments, Advancing the Black Arts in Pittsburgh Fund, The Pittsburgh Foundation, Opportunity Fund, The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and RAD.   The media sponsors are WYEP, WESA and WZUM.   
Kente Arts Alliance
1212 Manhattan Street, Pittsburgh, PA, 15233



Media Contact: Mensah Wali


Phone: 4123220292