John Grant, Arts Reporter
Grammy Award-winning drummer Terri-Lyne Carrington pounded a space for women in the drumming industry and showcased inspiration with Humber music students during the artist-in-residence showcase.
Carrington’s illustrious career showed woman can coexist in a scene predominantly dominated by men.
“It has always been acceptable for women to play piano, but these other instruments haven’t been as acceptable for women to play,” she said.
“Know that you can do what you want and find your community that will support it,” Carrington said. “Work hard and be authentic with the music. Be your authentic self, and it will shine through.”
She has won three Grammys in total. The Mosiac Project won for best jazz vocal album, Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue won for best jazz instrumental album, and she also won one as a producer for Dianne Reeves’s Beautiful Life.
The three-time Grammy winner played on stage for every song on Friday, March 6, at the Artist-in-Residence Showcase at Humber Lakeshore, highlighting her endurance, quality and musicality.
Even though she was ill, she upheld the well-known cliché among performers, that “the show must go on.” And she did not disappoint.
Almost every song played on stage was composed by Carrington except for three songs: Backward Country Boy Blues by Duke Ellington, Michelle by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and Benny’s Tune by African jazz artist Lionel Loueke.
The first band was the Enriched Ensemble of the night was led by Humber jazz Professor Alex Dean. They played two songs to reel in the audience to prompt a joyous response from the crowd as they oohed and aahed over Carrington’s drum play, and the student’s prestigious efforts during Backward Country Boy Blues and Jack’d.
The music students showed how phenomenal the Humber music program is as they tried to match her level of ability.
As the night transitioned to the second band, the musicians with the Humber X Ensemble joined the fray playing three songs. They were led by music Professor Mike Downes and played Michelle, Insomnia, and Mosiac Triad 1. Moments from Humber Tenor Sax player Lucas Dubovik highlighted such moments due to the presence and guidance from Carrington.
“Terri-Lyne Carrington is a world-class musician, educator, the list goes on. She’s incredible at every aspect of the music that she does,” Dubovik said.
“It’s good to hear and learn from a true professional and legend in the same field as I am,” he said. “It’s been three days but I could say, I’ve learned a lot from her.”
The last band ended the night with a standing ovation. They kept the momentum going when they played Benny’s Tune, Wistful, Middle Way, The Corner, and Samsara. The five songs they performed induced the crowd into a musical daze with entrancing sounds thanks to the leadership of Mark Promane, professor of woodwinds and saxophone.
Alto Soprano Saxophone player Daniel Barta felt the inspiration of sharing the stage with Carrington and felt the impact she had for all the students.
“Just the intensity she brings to the music is crazy. We’ve been playing her music for a while now. It’s been a lot of fun to hear. Her interpretation of her stuff is awesome,” Bartra said.
Carrington wanted Humber music students to know that everything she had obtained in music is achievable if they acquire the right skills.
“It is about the total musician, I write music, I play drums, I produce records and take care of all my own business. So, you have to have all of those things happening,” Carrington said.
“So be well versed in all those areas,” she said.
However, the night was much more than just Carrington. Every student on stage contributed a special night that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.