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Regina Carter paves the way for others / HUFFPOST

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I had the pleasure of attending concerts as part of the Festival Mozaic in July in San Luis Obispo, California. As I listened to the musicians, I thought back on what I had learned – that for a significant part of history women couldn't play certain instruments considered too masculine – and that even today women and minorities are often not selected for orchestra positions when the auditions are not conducted "blind" – meaning that the selection committee cannot see the musicians, just hear their musical ability. As with other fields of endeavor, it took some trailblazing women to pave the way for others to follow. 

Jazz violinist Regina Carter began playing the piano when she was two years old. Her formal study of the Suzuki method for playing the violin began when she was four. As a teenager, Carter played with the youth division of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. She studied jazz in college, graduating in 1985. She has recorded numerous albums, played with various groups and in 2006 was awarded a MacArthur Fellows Program grant that recognized her prowess in creating "new possibilities for violin and for jazz." Unlike Harrison, Carter has a full range of opportunities available to her – she tours regularly, serves as a mentor, and teaches the Suzuki Method to violin students. Carter is currently celebrating the legacy of jazz great Ella Fitzgerald.

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