Terri Lyne Carrington

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Terri Lyne Carrington
Background information
Born (1965-08-04) August 4, 1965 (age 57)
Medford, Massachusetts, U.S.
GenresJazz, R&B
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, educator
Years active1983–present
LabelsConcord Jazz, E1, Video Arts, Verve Forecast, ACT, GrooveJazz Media
EducationBerklee College of Music
Carrington at the 2017 Detroit Jazz Festival

Terri Lyne Carrington (born August 4, 1965) is an American jazz drummer, composer, producer, and educator. She has played with Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Clark Terry, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Joe Sample, Al Jarreau, Yellowjackets, and many others. She toured with each of Hancock's musical configurations (from electric to acoustic) between 1997 and 2007.

In 2007 she was appointed professor at her alma mater, Berklee College of Music, where she received an honorary doctorate in 2003. She has won three Grammy Awards, including a 2013 award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, which established her as the first female musician to win a Grammy in this category.[1]

Carrington serves as founder and artistic director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice and The Carr Center in Detroit, Michigan. She also serves on the board of trustees for The Recording Academy, board of directors for International Society for Jazz Arrangers and Composers and the advisory board for The History Makers and New Music USA.[2]

Early years[edit]

Carrington was born on August 4, 1965,[3] in Medford, Massachusetts, United States, into a musical family: her mother played piano as a hobby and her father was a saxophonist and president of the Boston Jazz Society.[4] At the age of seven, Carrington was given a set of drums that had belonged to her grandfather, Matt Carrington, who had played with Fats Waller and Chu Berry. After studying privately for three years, she gave her first major performance at the Wichita Jazz Festival with Clark Terry. At the age of 11, she received a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music.

At Berklee College of Music she played with musicians such as Kevin Eubanks, Donald Harrison, and Greg Osby. She also studied under drum instructor Alan Dawson and made a private recording entitled TLC and Friends, with Kenny Barron, Buster Williams, George Coleman and her father.

Music career[edit]

Carrington and Herbie Hancock

In 1983, encouraged by her mentor, Jack DeJohnette, Carrington moved to New York, where she worked with Lester Bowie, Stan Getz, James Moody, David Sanborn, Pharoah Sanders, and Cassandra Wilson. In the late 1980s Carrington moved to Los Angeles, where she was the house drummer for The Arsenio Hall Show and later the drummer on Quincy Jones' late-night TV show VIBE hosted by Sinbad.

As a bandleader, she has worked with Geri Allen, James Genus, Josh Harri, Bob Hurst, Everette Harp, Nona Hendryx, Munyungo Jackson, Ingrid Jensen, Aruan Ortiz, Greg Phillinganes, Tineke Postma, Patrice Rushen, Nêgah Santos, Dwight Sills, Esperanza Spalding, Helen Sung, and Gary Thomas.

In summer 2011, she appeared with Wayne Shorter, John Patitucci, Danilo Perez in South America. She was musical director of the Sing the Truth Tour with Dianne Reeves, Lizz Wright and Angelique Kidjo (with Romero Lubambo, Geri Allen, James Genus, and Munyungo Jackson).[5]

As a recording artist, in 1988 Carrington started concentrating her efforts on writing and producing her own works, resulting in Real Life Story, her 1989 Grammy-nominated debut album with Gerald Albright, Hiram Bullock, Greg Osby, Dianne Reeves, Patrice Rushen, Carlos Santana, John Scofield, Wayne Shorter, and Grover Washington Jr.; Jazz Is a Spirit, her 2002 European album with Terence Blanchard, Kevin Eubanks. Herbie Hancock, Wallace Roney, and Gary Thomas; and Structure, her 2004 European album with Greg Osby, Jimmy Haslip, and Adam Rogers.

In 2009, Carrington released More to Say ... Real Life Story: NextGen, a sequel to Real Life Story. The album includes Walter Beasley, George Duke, Lawrence Fields, Ray Fuller, Everette Harp, Jimmy Haslip, Robert Irving III, Chuck Loeb, Christian McBride, Les McCann, Lori Perry, Greg Phillinganes, Patrice Rushen, Dwight Sills, Chris Walker, Kirk Whalum, Anthony Wilson, Nancy Wilson, and a special appearance by Sonny Carrington.

In 2011 The Mosaic Project, her fifth album and her first for Concord Jazz, was released. It won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album.[6] Carrington's 2013 album, Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue, included covers of songs by Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach's 1962 album, Money Jungle, and won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. She is the first female musician to win a Grammy in this category.[7]

Carrington's interdisciplinary work includes collaborations with visual artists Mickalene Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, and choreographer Winifred R. Harris.

In October 2020, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced Carrington as one of four recipients of the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships, celebrated in an online concert and show on 22 April 2021. Awarded in recognition of lifetime achievement, the honor is bestowed on individuals who have made significant contributions to the art form. The other 2021 recipients were Albert "Tootie" Heath, Phil Schaap, and Henry Threadgill.[8]

September 2022 saw the publication of Carrington's book New Standards: 101 Lead Sheets by Women Composers and New Standards Vol. 1, an ambitious new endeavor created to uplift the voices of women composers.[9][10] The 2022 album of 11 selections from the songbook features an all-star band plus a dozen special guests.[9] Carrington also released a children’s book, Three of a Kind - The Allen Carrington Spalding Trio, a non-fiction illustrated poem about three women who became musical companions through their love of jazz.[11][12]

Awards and honors[edit]

Year Event Work Award Result
1990 32nd Grammy Awards[1] Real Life Story Best Jazz Fusion Performance Nominated
1989 Boston Music Award Outstanding Percussionist Won
1990 Boston Music Award Outstanding Drummer Won
2003 Berklee College of Music Honorary Doctorate
2012 54th Grammy Awards[1] The Mosaic Project Best Jazz Vocal Album Won
2014 56th Grammy Awards[1] Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue Best Jazz Instrumental Album Won
2015 University of Pittsburgh Lifetime Achievement Award Won
2015 57th Grammy Awards[1] Dianne Reeves's Beautiful Life (produced by Carrington) Best Jazz Vocal Album Won
2018 The Jazz Gallery Founders Award Won
2018 Jazz Congress Bruce Lundvall Visionary Award Won
2019 Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Doris Duke Artist Award Won
2020 DownBeat Critics Poll Jazz Artist Won
2020 DownBeat Critics Poll Waiting Game Jazz Album Won
2020 DownBeat Critics Poll Terri Lyne Carrington & Social Science Jazz Group Won
2020 JJA Jazz Awards Musician of the Year Won
2020 JJA Jazz Awards Drummer of the Year Won
2020 Manhattan School of Music Honorary Doctorate
2021 63rd Annual Grammy Awards Waiting Game (with Social Science) Best Jazz Instrumental Album Nominated
2021 JJA Jazz Awards Musician of the Year Won
2021 JJA Jazz Awards Drummer of the Year Won
2022 York University Honorary Doctorate
2023 65th Grammy Awards[13] New Standards Vol. 1 (with Kris Davis, Linda May Han Oh, Nicholas Payton, and Matthew Stevens) Best Jazz Instrumental Album Pending
2023 65th Grammy Awards[13] Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival (with Wayne Shorter, Leo Genovese, and Esperanza Spalding) Best Jazz Instrumental Album Pending


As leader or co-leader[edit]

As sidewoman[edit]

Release Leading artist Album Label
1985 Rufus Reid Trio Seven Minds Sunnyside
1986 Mulgrew Miller Work! Landmark
1986 Scott Robinson Winds of Change MultiJazz
1987 Greg Osby Greg Osby and Sound Theatre JMT
1987 Michele Rosewoman Quintessence Enja
1988 Niels Lan Doky The Truth - Live at Montmartre Storyville
1988 John Scofield Flat Out Gramavision
1988 Wayne Shorter Joy Ryder Columbia
1988 Cassandra Wilson Blue Skies JMT
1989 Niels Lan Doky Daybreak Storyville
1989 Robin Eubanks Different Perspectives JMT
1990 Eric Marienthal Crossroads GRP
1990 John Patitucci Sketchbook GRP
1991 Dianne Reeves I Remember Blue Note
1992 David Benoit Letter to Evan GRP
1992 Mitchel Forman What Else? RCA
1992 Gary Thomas Till We Have Faces JMT
1992 Gust William Tsilis Heritage Ken
1993 John Beasley Change of Heart Windham Hill
1993 Dianne Reeves Art & Survival EMI
1993 Nino Tempo Nino Atlantic Jazz
1993 Gary Thomas Exile's Gate JMT
1994 Gabrielle Goodman Until We Love JMT
1994 Klymaxx One Day Eighteen Sixty Three EP Wrekudz
1994 Dianne Reeves Quiet After the Storm Blue Note
1994 Patrice Rushen Anything but Ordinary Sindrome
1995 Paul Bollenback Original Visions Challenge
1995, 1997 Doky Brothers Doky Brothers, Vol. 1 & 2 Blue Note
1995 James Moody Moody's Birthday Celebration: Live at the Blue Note Warner
1995 Wayne Shorter High Life Verve
1995 Nino Tempo Live at Cicada Atlantic
1996 Stan Getz His Last Recording / In Concert Loft
1996 Cæcilie Norby My Corner of the Sky Blue Note
1996 Danilo Perez PanaMonk Impulse!
1996 Michael Wolff Trio 2 AM Cabana Boy
1996 Rachel Z Room of One's Own
1997 James Moody Moody Plays Mancini Warner
1997 Dianne Reeves That Day Blue Note
1998 Herbie Hancock Gershwin's World Verve
1998 Niels Lan Doky Niels Lan Doky Verve Forecast
1998 Mulgrew Miller Chapters 1 and 2 32 Jazz
2000 Paul Bollenback Double Vision Challenge
2000 Greg Osby The Invisible Hand Blue Note
2000 Diane Schuur Friends for Schuur Concord Jazz
2002 Herbie Hancock The Jazz Channel Presents Herbie Hancock (DVD) Image Entertainment
2002 Herbie Hancock Future 2 Future - Live (DVD) Columbia
2002 Nguyên Lê Purple – Celebrating Jimi Hendrix ACT
2003 Wayne Shorter Alegría Verve
2003 Cassandra Wilson Glamoured Blue Note
2004 Diana Krall The Girl in the Other Room Verve
2005 Rita Coolidge And So Is Love Paddle Wheel
2006 Tineke Postma For the Rhythm Munich
2006 George Duke In a Mellow Tone BPM
2006 Grace Kelly Every Road I Walked
2007 Tineke Postma A Journey That Matters Foreign Media Jazz
2009 Grace Kelly Mood Changes
2009 Teena Marie Congo Square Stax
2009 Tineke Postma The Traveller Etcetera
2009 Mike Stern Big Neighborhood Heads Up
2010 Esperanza Spalding Chamber Music Society Heads Up
2010 Nona Hendryx Mutatis Mutandis Righteous Babe
2012 Jazz Soul Seven Impressions of Curtis Mayfield BFM Jazz
2012 Esperanza Spalding Radio Music Society Heads Up
2013 Dianne Reeves Beautiful Life Concord
2015 Franco Ambrosetti After the Rain Enja
2016 Grégoire Maret Wanted Sunnyside Sunnyside
2018 Tia Fuller Diamond Cut Mack Avenue
2018 Lewis Porter (Trio with John Patitucci) Beauty & Mystery Altrisuoni
2018 Kenny Werner Church on Mars Newvelle
2020 Tim Ray Excursions and Adventures Whaling City Sound
2022 Wayne Shorter Live at the Detroit Jazz Festival Candid


  1. ^ a b c d e "Artist: Terri Lyne Carrington". grammy.com. Recording Academy. 2022. Retrieved November 24, 2022.
  2. ^ "Terri Lyne Carrington – Biography".
  3. ^ "Terri Lyne Carrington @ All About Jazz". Musicians.allaboutjazz.com. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  4. ^ "Drum Dungeon Bio Terri Lyne Carrington". November 11, 2010. Archived from the original on November 11, 2010.
  5. ^ Blumenthal, Bob. "Terri Lyne Carrington: Sophisticated Lady", JazzTimes, December 5, 2011. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  6. ^ "Ben Williams - State Of Art". Mediakits.concordmusicgroup.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  7. ^ "And The Grammy Went To ... Terri Lyne Carrington", Grammy.com, January 31, 2014. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  8. ^ Beete, Paulette. "Congratulations to the 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters". www.arts.gov. National Endowment for the Arts. Archived from the original on 30 November 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Terri Lyne Carrington's new STANDARDS – vol. 1 Album Out Today". Shore Fire Media. Retrieved 2022-10-30.
  10. ^ Contreras, Ayana (September 13, 2022). "It Was Hard to Find Sheet Music by Women Jazz Artists. So She Fixed It". The New York Times. Retrieved November 1, 2022.
  11. ^ "Three of a Kind: The Allen Carrington Spalding Trio|Paperback". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2022-10-30.
  12. ^ "Multiple Grammy Award-Winning Recording Artist and NEA Jazz Master Terri Lyne Carrington Sets New Standards with Upcoming CD, Books, Groundbreaking Installation, and Film". Houston Style Magazine. September 15, 2022. Retrieved November 1, 2022.
  13. ^ a b Lee, Taila (November 15, 2022). "2023 Grammy Nominations: See The Complete Nominees List". grammy.com. Recording Academy. Retrieved November 24, 2022.
  14. ^ TLC and Friends at Discogs

External links[edit]