Valentine’s Day Concert with Regina Carter and Xavier Davis

Renowned jazz artists Regina Carter and Xavier Davis will present an evening of Valentine’s Day-inspired tunes beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14, in Varner Recital Hall on the campus of Oakland University (OU).

“I’m very excited to welcome Xavier Davis to my alma mater, and I look forward to sharing the stage with him on Valentine’s Day,” said Carter, OU’s artist-in-residence.

Photo of Xavier Davis and Regina Carter, Regina has a violin in her hands

Xavier Davis and Regina Carter perform at OU on February 14

Born in Detroit, Carter studied at the Center for Creative Studies and the New England Conservatory of Music before transferring to Oakland University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in music in 1985.

Since then, Carter has travelled extensively throughout the world and in 2001 she became the first jazz musician and African-American to play “The Cannon,” a 250-year-old Guarneri violin once owned by Niccolo Paganini, which is kept in Genoa, Italy, and only played once a year by an individual deemed worthy.

A Grammy nominee and 2006 recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, Carter is now considered the foremost jazz violinist of her generation. She has been featured with leading symphony orchestras and performed with artists as diverse as Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Billy Joel, Kenny Barron and Mary J. Blige. Her newest album, Ella: Accentuate the Positive, is a celebration of the First Lady of Song’s infectious and inclusive artistry.

“Xavier Davis and I have been performing together off and on in different configurations since 2004,” Carter said. “He is an incredible musician and from our first performance together I felt we had a special musical connection.”

Davis was discovered by legendary vocalist Betty Carter at the 994 International Association of Jazz Educators convention in Boston while he was performing with his college ensemble. It was her who brought Davis to New York, hiring him exclusively as the pianist of her working trio.

Today, Davis is one of the most accomplished Jazz pianists in the world and has been featured on more than 50 albums. He has performed and recorded with world-famous jazz artists including Carl Allen, Freddie Hubbard, Tom Harrell, Christian McBride, Regina Carter, Stefon Harris, Abbey Lincoln, Wynton Marsalis, Don Byron, Nat Adderley, Nicholas Payton, Jon Faddis, Jimmy Greene, Steve Turre, Al Foster, and Jeremy Pelt, among others.

In 2005, Davis became the first person to receive the prestigious “New Works Grant” twice from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation under the auspices of Chamber Music America. He has won awards at several festivals, as well as in Down Beat magazine.

As a bandleader, Davis has released two critically acclaimed albums — Dance of Life and The Innocence of Youth. He is currently working on his long-awaited follow-up to these albums.

Doors for the February 14 performance open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the general public or $10 for students, and can be purchased in advance by calling Star Tickets at 800-585-3737, online without a service fee, or in person at the Varner Hall box office.

Varner Recital Hall is located at 371 Varner Drive.

For more information about OU’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance, including upcoming programs and performances, call 248-370-2030.


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