The Colonial Theatre in Bethlehem, NH Presents Internationally Acclaimed Violinist

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The Colonial Theatre in Bethlehem, NH will present violinist Regina Carter and her quartet Saturday, July 21 performing music from her highly acclaimed album Reverse Thread.

regina carter
It is a rare occasion when you can hear this level of musicianship in Northern New Hampshire.

The Colonial Theatre in Bethlehem, NH will present violinist Regina Carter and her quartet Saturday, July 21 performing music from her highly acclaimed album Reverse Thread.

Named the Best Violinist in jazz by the Jazz Times Critics' Poll for 2012, Regina Carter's violin has expressed moods inspired by European classical, bebop, Afro-Cuban and Southern blues music. On her new album Reverse Thread, Carter plays traditional African melodies, re-imagined through her own musical sensibilities. With the release of Reverse Thread, Regina Carter invites us to a world of hypnotically beautiful African folk melodies. Lauded as one of the finest violinists of her generation, Carter captures both the essence and allure of the original music through a lens of contemporary interpretation. Through her albums, incessant touring and various guest appearances and collaborations, Regina has developed into a distinctly diverse musical personality. She has repeatedly toured throughout the world, was the first jazz artist and African American to play Nicola Palatine’s famed Garner "Cannon" violin, has been featured with several symphony orchestras and performed with artists as diverse as Aretha Franklin, Lauren Hill, Billy Joel, Kenny Barron, Mary J. Bilge, and recently, Pablo Ziegler. With Reverse Thread, Regina takes a giant step forward by making a meaningful musical contribution on her own terms.

The Colonial is very pleased and honored to be able to bring this world renowned artist, and Macarthur "genius" grant recipient to the area.” Enthuses Colonial executive director Stephen Dignazio. “I have been a fan of her music for some time and Reverse Thread is truly inspired. It is a rare occasion when you can hear this level of musicianship in Northern New Hampshire.”

When preeminent violinist Regina Carter made the decision to record an album primarily of African folk tunes, she created a great challenge for herself: how do you take beautiful traditional music and infuse it with a contemporary feel while remaining true to its past — and then, not compromise its beauty? Her newest release, Reverse Thread, brilliantly responds to the challenge. To achieve the uplifting and stirring result, Regina added an accordion and kora—the West African harp traditionally played by village storytellers—to her longstanding rhythm section. Kora virtuoso Yacouba Sissoko was brought on board to help recreate the spirit of passing stories from generation to generation. The result—unlike anything previously heard—is a haunting and beautiful compliment to Regina’s sumptuously seductive violin.

Without the support of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation, which “awards
unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals,” Reverse Thread might never have been realized. As a MacArthur Fellow — a recipient of what is commonly known as the “genius grant” — Carter was armed with the funds and the freedom to follow her muse. Regina turned to the World Music Institute in New York City, in which she found a diverse and inspirational resource for material, including ethnographic field recordings. Regina looked not just to the music, but also the accompanying sounds and nuances of everyday life from anthropological and sociological perspectives which informed the spirit of the new arrangements.

“There is an immense amount of amazing music coming from all around the world, much of which is barely accessible,” emphasized Regina. “Reverse Thread gave me the opportunity to explore and celebrate a tiny portion of music that moved me.” Both "Hiwumbe Awumba" and "Mwana Talitambula" are based on field recordings from the Ugandan Jews, a community in eastern Uganda who although are not genetically or historically Jewish, practice the Jewish religion. Reverse Thread also embraces music of the African Diaspora. As but one example, “Un Aguinaldo” skillfully layers the rhythmic aspects of African music with harmonies originating in India and Puerto Rico.

This evening of great world music is made possible in part through the generosity of Elise Drake with additional support from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, The Jane B. Cook 1992 Charitable Trust and Edward and Nancy Roberts. The Cold Mountain Café is the hospitality sponsor for the event and media support was provided by Vermont Public Radio, New Hamshire Public Radio, The Point.FM and Notchnet.com

General Admission tickets for the 8 PM performance are $48; Colonial, Catamount Arts and Kingdom County Productions members $41; reserved Front & Center are $63. Tickets may be purchased online at bethlehemcolonial.org. The doors open at 7 PM for the 8 PM performance with refreshments on the patio. For more information about this or upcoming live events visit the Colonial on line at http://www.BethlehemColonial.org.

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Stephen Dignazio
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