Jazz and Social Justice – Vol 19: Terri Lyne Carrington – Setting New Standards: Jazz, Gender and Equity

Drummer, composer, educator and NEA Jazz Master Terri Lyne Carrington wants to transform jazz culture. She earned a full scholarship to Boston’s Berklee College of Music when she was just 11. At 57, she’s back there—as founder and artistic director of the Berklee Institutes of Jazz and Gender Justice, whose motto is “jazz without patriarchy.” 

On her album new STANDARDS, vol. 1, a star-studded band plays new arrangements of 11 compositions written by women. Those songs, and 90 more, appear in her new book, New Standards: 101 Lead Sheets by Women Composers—a revisionist “Real Book” that presents an untold history of women composers, along with new “standards” for jazz musicians to play. She also curated a related multi-media installation for The Carr Center in Detroit, where she is artistic director, (October 14 through November 27), “Shifting the Narrative: Jazz and Gender Justice”—about which, Carrington says, “When you leave, you won’t be able to think about gender and jazz and be indifferent.” 

At the museum, Carrington and series host Larry Blumenfeld will play excerpts from new STANDARDS, vol. 1. Along with panelist musician, composer, and producer Keyanna Hutchinson, and pianist-composer Marta Sanchez they’ll discuss these composers and the rich history represented by their music, as well as the process of transformation that can lead to equity in the field of jazz. 


With technical wizardry and profound creativity, NEA Jazz Master, Terri Lyne Carrington, has become one of the giants of today’s jazz music. A three-time GRAMMY Award-winning drummer, composer, producer, and educator, Carrington began her professional career at only ten years old and received a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music at the age of 11. She is the first female artist to ever win the GRAMMY Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, which she received for her 2013 work, “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue.” Over the four-decade-plus span of her career, she has played with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Lester Bowie, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Stan Getz, Al Jarreau, John Scofield, Pharoah Sanders, and Esperanza Spalding among countless other jazz luminaries. 

In 2019, Carrington received the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award as recognition of her important work in the field. She has curated musical presentations at Harvard University, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the John F. Kennedy Center, and has enjoyed multi-disciplinary collaborations with esteemed visual artists Mickalene Thomas and Carrie Mae Weems. Her artistry and commitment to education earned her honorary doctorates from Manhattan School of Music and Berklee College of Music, where she currently serves as founder and artistic director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, whose mission is to recruit, teach, mentor, and advocate for young musicians seeking to study jazz with racial justice and gender justice as guiding principles. She is also the artistic director for the Carr Center in Detroit, as well as Berklee’s Summer Jazz Workshop. 

To date, she has released eight albums, including her 2011 work, “The Mosaic Project: LOVE and SOUL,” which features a leading cast of superb female instrumentalists and vocalists, such as Regina Carter, Natalie Cole, Lalah Hathaway, Ingrid Jensen, Chaka Khan, Ledisi, Meshell Ndegeocello, Patrice Rushen, Nancy Wilson, Lizz Wright, and others. Carrington also combined forces with David Murray and the late Geri Allen to form the MAC Power Trio. Their 2016 release, “Perfection,” is a tribute to Ornette Coleman. In 2019, Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science released their critically acclaimed double album, Waiting Game, a project that elevates social justice issues, featuring pianist Aaron Parks and guitarist Matthew Stevens. The album was nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award, and won 3 awards in the 2020 Downbeat International Critics Poll for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Group of the Year. 


This series, now in its fifth year, connects the music we love with the social and political issues that matter to us all. Each salon blends live performance with conversation between artists, activists, and experts. Curated and hosted by journalist and critic Larry Blumenfeld, whose NJMIH programs during the past dozen years have considered Afro-Cuban influence within New York’s jazz scene and contemporary New Orleans. 

Thu, Nov 10
7:00 pm

National Jazz Museum in Harlem

Current & Upcoming Events

Spreadin’ Jam, Joy & Jive: A Sweet R&B Ride on the Soul of My 45's w/ Nikki Williams TM
Thu, Jun 06 – Sat, Jun 29
Jazz Is: Now – Faith Quashie Quintet – Curated by Liany Mateo
Thu, Jun 13
7:00 pm

Want to host an event?

We are your go-to venue for off-site meetings, receptions, film screenings, workshops, networking events, socials and more. Located in the heart of Central Harlem’s thriving culinary and entertainment district, The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is the perfect place to hold your next gathering.

Rent Our Space

About Events Collections Education Get Involved Visit Shop