Ron Carter, known for being an educator and a professional jazz musician, has been named the Felton J. Capel Professor of Performing and Fine Arts at Fayetteville State University. He has had two successful, concurrent careers—as an educator in public schools and higher education, and as a professional musician having performed nationally and internationally with several jazz greats.
As an educator, Carter has taught jazz education and performance at universities, high schools, and performing arts schools in the U.S., South America, and Canada. Specifically, he has served at a wide range of institutions including as Director of the world-renowned Northern Illinois University (NIU) Jazz Ensemble and Director of Jazz Studies; as a guest conductor, artist, clinician, or adjudicator at Michigan State University, Georgia State University, Western Illinois University, University of Northern Colorado, Iowa State University, University of Kansas, Southern Illinois University, University of Illinois, University of Iowa, Northern Illinois University, Hampton University, Loyola University, Coe College, Augustana College, Vander Cook College of Music, Georgia State College, and Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. He has performed, conducted and presented workshops and clinics at regional, national, and international conferences, and directed all-state jazz bands in Illinois, Indiana, Rhode Island, Missouri, Texas, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Kentucky, Vermont, Arizona, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Washington, Oregon and Massachusetts. Recently, Carter conducted the Florida State University Tri-State All-Star Jazz band in 2017. He also previously worked 18 years in the East St. Louis School District as the Director of the Lincoln Senior High School Jazz Band.
As a professional musician, Carter performed in the St. Louis metropolitan area as a freelance musician on saxophone, clarinet, flute, and as a vocalist. He co-directed the group Infiniti and performed with the legendary George Hudson Orchestra. Carter has also performed professionally with the infamous Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Lena Horne, Lou Rawls, The Jimmy Dorsey Band, Wallace Roney, The Temptations, The Dells, Oliver Lake, Hamiett Bluiett, Leon Thomas, Art Davis, Fareed Haque, Joseph Bowie, Frank Mantooth, Terell Stafford, Orbert Davis, Carl Allen, Rodney Whitaker, and many others.
An abbreviated list of his honors and awards includes Downbeat Magazine’s Jazz Educators Hall of Fame, The Woody Herman Music Award (Birch Creek Music Center), The 1991 Milken National Distinguished Educator Award, Southern Illinois University Excellence in Teaching Award, the St. Louis American Newspaper’s Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees Professorship.
Carter’s special projects include having served as the International Consultant for the “Essentially Ellington Jazz Competition” sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York; Lead Artist for the “Jazz At Lincoln Center Band Director’s Academy”; co-author of Alfred Publications’ “Swingin’ On The Bars”; and co-author of GIA Music Publications “Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz – Book I & II”; as well as a contributing author to the Beginning Jazz Ensemble textbook.
Carter currently is an artist for Conn-Selmer Inc. and D’Addario Woodwinds – (Rico Reeds).