Benny Carter
Into the Millenium

Into the 1990s—and into his 90s—Benny Carter’s continued activity and creativity are almost staggering. He may be the only artist to have made an acoustic recording and lived to see his own website www.bennycarter.com. Since turning eighty in 1987 he has written and performed six extended works; recorded some 15 albums in settings ranging from duo to combined jazz band and chamber orchestra; written at least 40 new songs with lyrics; recorded a solo saxophone film soundtrack; toured the world many times, including ten trips to Japan and his first visits to Poland and Thailand; delivered his first commencement address; and received seven Grammy nominations and two Grammy awards.
Since turning 90, while he no longer tours, he has no intention of retiring. He plans on recording a new big band album in 1999, and continues to compose new pieces.

Musical Selection: "Secret Love" from New York Lights, MusicMasters 01612-65154-2 (1997)

Benny Carter Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo, 1992. (All photos by Ed Berger) Benny Carter, Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo, 1992. (Photo by Ed Berger)
Benny with jazz historian Hisamatsu Noguchi, Tokyo, 1992. Benny with jazz historian Hisamatsu Noguchi, Tokyo, 1992. (Photo by Ed Berger)
Carter and saxophonist Benny Waters, Iridium Jazz Club, NYC, 1996.  Carter and Waters first played together in 1927 as members of Charlie Johnson's Orchestra in Harlem Carter and saxophonist Benny Waters, Iridium Jazz Club, NYC, 1996. Carter and Waters first played together in 1927 as members of Charlie Johnson's Orchestra in Harlem. (Photo by Ed Berger)
Carter and Wynton Marsalis, rehearsal with Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, 1996 Carter and Wynton Marsalis, rehearsal with Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, 1996. (Photo by Ed Berger)
Benny and King of Thailand, Bangkok, 1996.  The King is an avid jazz fan and musician who has jammed with many visiting jazz luminaries.  This was Carter's second visit to the Royal Palace Benny and King of Thailand, Bangkok, 1996. The King is an avid jazz fan and musician who has jammed with many visiting jazz luminaries. This was Carter's second visit to the Royal Palace. (Photo by Ed Berger)
Carter and Flip Phillips, rehearsal, Ravinia Festival, Chicago, 1997.  Carter and Phillips first played together in 1952 with Jazz at the Philharmonic Carter and Flip Phillips, rehearsal, Ravinia Festival, Chicago, 1997. Carter and Phillips first played together in 1952 with Jazz at the Philharmonic. (Photo by Ed Berger)
Benny testing soprano saxophone in Los Angeles music store, May 1999. Benny testing soprano saxophone in Los Angeles music store, May 1999. (Photo by Ed Berger)
Benny Carter: Eight Decades in American Music

Back to Main Page

Copyright © 1999, Rutgers University Libraries