the Carr Center Presents … “The Great Jazz Women of Detroit : Alice Coltrane, Dorothy Ashby and Betty Carter”, musical director Terri Lyne Carrington, @ Detroit School of Arts

Detroit has always played an essential role in the development of Jazz. None is more important than the contributions of these three African American women whose jazz prowess and prodigious talents left indelible marks on the idiom.

  • After the death of her husband, the transcendent John Coltrane, Detroit native Alice Coltrane, a classically trained pianist in her own right, used her cosmic sense of vision and classically trained piano skills to leave behind her own formidable jazz legacy.
  • Born and raised in Detroit, Dorothy Ashby was a jazz harpist who has been described as the most accomplished modern jazz harpist ever! She single handedly established the harp as an improvising jazz instrument, proving the harp could play bebop as adeptly as any of the other instruments commonly associated with jazz.
  • Arguably the most adventurous female jazz singer of all time, Betty Carter was an idiosyncratic stylist and vocal improviser who pushed the limits of melody and harmony beyond all previous boundaries. Her ability to free flow scat became legendary. She was born in Flint, but grew up in Detroit, where her father worked as a church music director.

The Great Jazz Women of Detroit pays tribute to these amazing women and others that have held close to their heart the jazz tradition, from Sippie Wallace to Anita Baker. We are living in a time where justice and equality for everyone in the gender spectrum is being called for. This concert honors some seminal and groundbreaking female artists, and also acknowledges the importance of creating space for a more balanced artistic future.

The Carr Center’s Co-Artistic Director Terri Lyne Carrington leads an all-star ensemble of jazz vocalists and musicians celebrating these Detroit Jazz legends.