SFJAZZ.org | Terri Lyne Carrington-New Standards

On The Corner Masthead


February 1, 2023 | by Natalie Weiner

Terri Lyne Carrington at SFJAZZ Center, 2/22. (photo by Rick Swig)

Drummer and composer Terri Lyne Carrington returns for her week as SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director 2/23-26. For this month's exclusive Members-only article, guest writer Natalie Weiner spoke to Carrington about her "New Standards" project (2/24), which will stream on Fridays Live at part of SFJAZZ At Home.

When Terri Lyne Carrington says “new standards,” she means several things. As those who saw her first presentation of the project at SFJAZZ last year know, there is a literal component: adding “standards,” or standard repertoire, to the jazz canon so that it might better reflect the true diversity of the genre’s contributors. She performed some of the potential additions she’s fighting for at that show with an all-star ensemble, and when she returns to Miner Auditorium on February 24 (broadcast on Fridays Live), she’ll perform others from her collection, New Standards: 101 Lead Sheets By Women Composers, published last fall.

It’s about the pieces, about somewhat forcefully inserting women composers into an often exclusionary jazz history — but the pieces are also a means to a much more ambitious end: “Setting new standards period, in the culture and in the industry,” as Carrington, currently a Resident Artistic Director at SFJAZZ, explains it. The acclaimed drummer, composer and bandleader has been working towards that mission implicitly and explicitly for years, balancing her creative and artistic goals with the nagging, unfair weight of the inescapable “woman in jazz” label which, though generally well-intentioned, often does more harm than good.

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