Terri Lyne Carrington

Professor
617 747-3034

"When I was 11 years old, I was on a TV show with Buddy Rich. Someone asked him how he knew I was a good drummer. He said, 'Well, I listen for how she can swing the band, and whether she has good time, good feel, and good articulation.'"

"Joe Garagiola, who was the host, said, 'What does that mean, articulation?' Buddy tried to explain what it meant, then he just said, 'She sounds like she knows what she's doing.'"

"So, that word, articulation, had always been in the back of my head. But I didn't use it too much. Now that I'm teaching, I use it all the time, because articulation is the biggest problem for 90 percent of my students. It's all about clean technique, combined with solid coordination."

"I've been performing with great jazz musicians since I was a kid. And I always revered them. It's been great to be part of a line of such amazing players. Teaching allows me to pass it on. Most of the masters of the music are gone now. So it's really important for me to be able to say, 'Dizzy Gillespie taught me this.'"

"When I teach, I try to figure out where each student is living, musically. Jazz has so many different focal points. So I try to find their focal point and teach them as much as I know about that."

"On the road, you can play a concert in front of thousands of people and not have a real one-on-one interaction with anyone. But teaching is a real one-on-one experience. It's mentoring. The mentors I've had communicated to me the essence of what this music is all about. Jazz is a lifestyle. It's a language."