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From jazz to tango, Regina Carter transcends genre

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Tuesday October 28, 2014

From The Chicago Tribune

From jazz to tango, Regina Carter transcends genre
By: Howard Reich

There’s something uniquely moving about hearing folkloric music played at the highest concert level.

When that happens, listeners encounter the songs of everyday life played with a technical virtuosity and tonal sheen they richly deserve but rarely receive.

This was the thrust of violinist Regina Carter’s thoroughly disarming and musically transporting performance Friday night at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts. Launching the second annual Jazz at the Logan series, Carter played roots music from several continents with a degree of care and control one sooner expects to encounter in works of Beethoven and Brahms. Furthermore, she was joined by a quintet of like-minded musicians who ignore distinctions between “high art” and “low,” instead addressing jazz, tango, world and various facets of contemporary music with equal respect and ardor.

The traditional children’s game song “Shoo-Rye,” for instance, conveys the spirit of vintage Americana, its buoyantly syncopated rhythms and tuneful spirit conjuring the nation’s rustic beginnings. But not many fiddlers approach the tonal beauty and seemingly nonchalant virtuosity of Carter’s playing.

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