Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bill Carter and his "presbybop" music

Bill Carter is a pianist, composer, arranger, presbyterian minister and a benchmark of sacred jazz music. Based on Pennsylvania USA, Carter perhaps is one of the most important musicians dedicated to expand and redefine the boundaries of christian liturgical music, through jazz.

Bill is a very experimented musician, with nearly thirty years composing and arranging. He also teaching jazz piano and jazz history at Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania for the past eleven years. Over the course of his career, he has studied or performed with Phil Woods, Jimmy Knepper, Jim McNeely, Michael Holober, Sherrie Maricle, Dave Brubeck, David Liebman, among many others. In 1993, he formed his very known "Presbybop Quartet", with Al Hamme, his college music professor from Binghamton University, bassist Tony Marino and drummer Tom Whaley. Although in the beginning the group was formed for this four musician, today its format varies between quartet and quintet with trumpeter and hornist Jeff Stockham, drummer Ron Vincent and bassists Shawn McGloin and Steve Gilmore.

To define Bill's musical style in one word, this would be "bop" because it traditionally has moved between bebop and hardbop, and sometimes with elements of contemporary jazz and even classical music. In general, the most important contribution of Bill Carter, is integrating jazz language with theology and the Christian faith, all through of a very creative and elegant sense of this music as an art form. To date, he have recorded seven sacred jazz albums: Faith in a New Key, Dancing Day, Fragile Incarnation, Stand On Your Head, Jazz According to John (with biblical storyteller Dennis Dewey), Welcome Home (with vocalist Warren Cooper), and Psalms Without Words. Bill today is working in a new musical project, The Interior Window.

Apart of his musical career, Bill has served for over eighteen years as the pastor and head of staff at the First Presbyterian Church of Clarks Summit

Bill Carter's official website: