If you had the chance to spend an hour with a three-time Grammy Award-winning jazz drummer, would you? We would! And we did just that when we met with Terri Lyne Carrington at the Sugar Bar, a Manhattan restaurant and bar that is owned by Valerie Simpson, who was married to the late Nick Ashford.
First we sat with Terri Lyne and talked to her about her career and personal life. We found out that she doesn’t just drum. She is also a composer, singer and record producer.
Terri Lyne Carrington was born on Aug. 4, 1965, in Medford Massachusetts. Terri Lyne is soft-spoken but her voice comes out in her music. Terri has a 10-year-old son who sings, but she told us that he prefers WWE.
Terri bases her songs on songs that she likes and things that she sees. Terri was inspired by her grandfather, who unfortunately passed away six months before she was born. She felt that drums gave her and her grandfather a connection. If Terri wasn’t in the music business she told us that she would be an author, but Terri chose music and she composes about six to eight songs a year. Terri started drumming at 7. Her best friend is jazz singer Dianne Reeves. They have been friends since they were 10.
Terri is so good that she got nominated for four Grammys and won three times. She got nominated once and didn’t win and 20 years later she was nominated for the same one and won. So you could probably imagine how she felt when she won after 20 years! Terri told us that she was so shocked and happy at the same time. When she won two times afterward she was a little less shocked but still surprised. Before fame, she was given her grandfather’s drum set at the age of 7 and was awarded a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts when she was just 11 years old. Terri completed 11th and 12th grade at the same time. She said it was hard. She said she had to do two of everything and that let her graduate a year early. As Terri grew older, she liked hanging with adults more than kids her age.
She is planning to base her new album on politics and world justice. Terri’s favorite childhood memory was playing up on stage with her favorite jazz singer.
Terri Lyne told us that she felt closest to her dad because he had musical experiences also. While we were visiting her, she taught us how to remember different patterns. She said that in college she learned that you start with one particular pattern and add on to it. You could also make the beat faster.
As much as she knows about drumming, that isn’t her favorite part about being in a band. She doesn’t have a favorite part. When she is doing one thing she would much rather be doing another. Also all those roles in a band that Terri plays can be stressful, but she learned how to handle the stress.
Terri Lyne Carrington is an outstanding musician and band leader and also so much fun to meet. She gave us a quick lesson on how to play the drums and mix up the beats. It was a great afternoon. If you want to find out more, visit: terrilynecarrington.com
WHAT The Apollo Theater Presents The Women of the World Festival to include The Abbey Lincoln Tribute Concert
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m., May 6, 2017
INFO Visit apollotheater.org; Musical direction by Terri Lyne Carrington. Featuring Esperanza Spalding, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater