For the past three decades renowned sax man James Carter has been wowing audiences with his knowledge of -- and willingness to stretch -- jazz traditions. At his acclaimed live shows Carter constantly pushes the limits of his instrument, blowing minds with freewheeling, experimental solos that have earned him the well-deserved nickname "Jimi Hendrix of the sax". Whether he's paying tribute to jazz legends with standards like "Parker's Mood" and "'Round Midnight" or improvising a five-minute, never-before-heard solo, Carter is a world-class talent who always brings the house down on tour.
Detroit-born James Carter took up the saxophone at age 11, studying with veteran player Donald Washington before touring Europe with the International Jazz Band in his teens. At 19 he landed a role in trumpet legend Lester Bowie's New York-based quintet. The gig was a watershed moment in Carter's career, serving as his introduction to the city's late-'80s jazz scene and leading him to move there permanently a few years later. In 1994 he released his debut album JC on the Set, a critically acclaimed tour-de-force that established him as potent new voice in jazz. Since then he's kept up a prolific release schedule, dropping more than a dozen albums including favorites like 1995's Jurassic Classics and 2008's Present Tense. In addition to recording and touring with luminaries like Kathleen Battle and Wynton Marsalis, Carter's prodigious sax chops have earned him several Critics Choice awards from DownBeat magazine for best baritone saxophone player. A veteran performer with a flair for dramatic, emotional, and often surprising phrasing, Carter impresses ticket buyers with his razor-sharp virtuosity every time he takes the stage on tour.