John Carter (jazz musician)

John Carter
Birth name John Wallace Carter
Born (1929-09-24)September 24, 1929
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
Died March 31, 1991(1991-03-31) (aged 61)
Inglewood, California, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, educator
Instruments Clarinet, saxophone, flute

John Wallace Carter (September 24, 1929 – March 31, 1991) was an American jazz clarinet, saxophone, and flute player.[1]


Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Carter attended I.M. Terrell High School, and played music with schoolmates Ornette Coleman and Charles Moffett in the 1940s.[2][3][4][5] From 1961, Carter was based mainly on the West Coast. There he met Bobby Bradford in 1965, with whom he subsequently worked on a number of projects, notably the New Jazz Art Ensemble. He also played with Hampton Hawes and Harold Land. In the 1970s Carter became well known on the basis of his extraordinary solo concerts. At New Jazz Festival Moers 1979 he and the German clarinet player Theo Jörgensmann performed on three days. Afterwards Carter received complimentary reviews and wide recognition from around the world. He and Jörgensmann met again in 1984. The program of the Berlin JazzFest was built around the clarinet. After Carter's solo performance, he and Jörgensmann also played together.

Between 1982 and 1990 Carter composed and recorded Roots and Folklore: Episodes in the Development of American Folk Music, five albums focused on African Americans and their history. The complete set was acclaimed by jazz critics as containing some of the best releases of the 1980s.

A clarinet quartet with Perry Robinson, Jörgensmann and Eckard Koltermann was planned for 1991, but Carter did not recover from a nonmalignant tumor. Later that year he was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.


As leader

As sideman

With Horace Tapscott

With Clarinet Summit

With Vinny Golia


  1. Kelsey, Chris. John Carter at AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  2. Litweiler, John (1994) [1992]. "Chapter 1". Ornette Coleman: A Harmolodic Life (paperback ed.). New York: Da Capo. pp. 27–30. ISBN 0-306-80580-4.
  3. Kristi Strickland, "CARTER, JOHN," Handbook of Texas Online, accessed July 26, 2012. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  4. Collier, Caroline (February 27, 2008). "Jazz jumps back onto the Cowtown scene". Fort Worth Weekly. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  5. Patoski, Joe Nick (2008). Willie Nelson: An Epic Life. p. 50. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  6. You Better Fly Away at Discogs
  7. Southern Bells at Discogs

External links

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