John Blake: African Roots of Violin

John Blake: African Roots of Violin

Regina Carter presents
African Roots of Violin
with John Blake

Friday, May 10, 7:30pm
at SFJAZZ Center, Miner Auditorium

John Blake

Performance includes a Pre-Concert Talk that begins one hour before show time.

African Roots of Violin with John Blake

For Regina Carter, the violin isn’t merely an improvisational vehicle. It’s a passport to unexpected realms, a Rosetta stone that unlocks the door to a myriad of cultures and worlds. Since emerging from the Detroit scene in the late 1980s, Carter has recorded a series of dazzling albums, joining forces with piano giant Kenny Barron on Freefall, celebrating her hometown on Motor City Moments, and breaking new ground with a legendary violin on Paganini: After A Dream. An intrepid musical explorer, Carter has greatly expanded her violin odyssey since being awarded a coveted 2006 MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellowship. She began researching the African roots of the violin, which resulted in her acclaimed 2010 album Reverse Thread, an entrancing sojourn exploring compositions by artists from Kenya, Mali, and Senegal.

Determined to present the underappreciated composer, educator and improviser John Blake, Jr. (“One of my mentors when I first started playing jazz,” Carter says), she has engaged the Philadelphia violin master for two programs, The African Roots of Violin on Friday and a family matinee on Saturday. Expanding on the Reverse Thread project Blake produced for Carter, The African Roots of Violin is a revelatory concert exploring the African roots of the violin and its evolution as a jazz instrument.

Regina Carter's Residency as Artistic Director is made possible in part through the generosity of The Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

Artist Personnel

John Blake Jr. violin, riti
Charlotte Blake Alston vocals,
narration, riti
Diane Monroe violin, riti
Sumi Tonooka piano
Nimrod Speaks bass
Harry "Butch" Reed drums, washboard
Dr. Leonard Gibbs percussion

Genres