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Terri Lyne Carrington All-Around Jazz Drummer

Here are very few drummers who have a subtle yet powerful approach to drums as Terri Lyne Carrington. “When she is behind the throne, it almost feels as though her spirit has flown into the drums.”

Terri Lyne Carrington
Terri Lyne Carrington

One of her fans was heard saying. “I always love the way she juggles between the changing tunes of jazz performance.” This statement affirms what many, even professional drummers, feel about Terri Lyne Carrington.

The third-generation drummer started playing while she was still a little kid. And she was already working with great personalities like Clark Terry and Jack DeJohnette before entering her teens.

She combines her charisma and charming personality with a great mind to innovate different styles, creating grooves that no other drummer can compare to. She has since proved a great asset at post-bop, smooth jazz, and a silky soul. 

Terri Lyne Carrington Performing
Terri Lyne Carrington Performing

Terry can adapt to any music and will drum as though she had practiced long become the performance. And her metronomic timekeeping skills keep the performance on the right route, building it from stage to stage.

If you really want to know what the drummer can do, her 2011 album “The Mosaic Project,” has all the answers. She interprets this work as a collection of standards with an all-star, all-female casting that includes Esperanza Spalding and Sheila E.

The work represents everything a modern drummer can do and much more. Among the few top female drummers of all time, Terry features as an innovator who understands the modern generation’s needs and uses her skills to learn and deliver new ideas.

Her contribution continues to spread across the globe, making all who listen to her feel a special connection with each song. She drums to pass a message more than just entertaining. That is why her technique includes a subtle touch to the hi-hat.

Knowing drums is one thing, but understanding how to influence people through them is the real challenge. Terry seems to have mastered this skill as she makes the crowd go wild with every strike. No wonder she is a multiple Grammy Award-winner.

Terry Lynne Carrington has recorded and toured with renowned performers like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Stan Getz, Dianne Reeves, David Sanborn, John Scofield, Diana Krall, and many other jazz figures. She has made history as the first woman to win Grammy in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category.

Terri Lyne Carrington On Stage
Terri Lyne Carrington On Stage

Her role in “Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue,” a reimagining of the Duke Ellington Classic is a good example of innovativeness in music.

She has worked on every piece, especially in collaboration with Spalding, and Geri Allen has been overwhelmingly received. Also, her female-driven Mosaic Project has been a footpath for her success. She works as a Zildjian Chair in Performance at Berklee College of Music.

In 2003, she received an honorary doctorate from the institution after her 1983 bachelor’s degree.  She is also an artistic director for the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival and Berklee’s Summer Sessions, among other duties. Above all, she continues to be a great inspiration to women across the globe.

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Written by Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.

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