Chad Carter
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Chad Carter

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States
Band Jazz Blues


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Shoo-be-doo-wop, bee-doo-wopbow,"

Imagine that sung by the golden tones of vocalist
Chad Carter scatting his way through a jazz standard,
over a rippling piano, crisp rolls on the drums, a throbbing
bass and a sweet sax riffi ng the melody, and you
have your own virtual reality of one of our area’s promising
musical highlights.
Carter is a local boy bidding to make good as he
continues to hone his skills. He has many of the basics,
such as a passion for the music and a voice that at
its best commands a room. He also has learned some
of the nuts and bolts of the trade from a leading jazz
emissary, the late vocalist and festival entrepreneur
Ronnie Wells.
A DC native, Carter actually played the viola as a
member of the DC Youth Orchestra and then took up
the piano. After attending Howard University undergrad
and Carnegie Mellon for graduate school, Chad,
who works in information technology by day, found his
way back to the music through workshops that Wells
and her husband, pianist Ron Elliston, conducted for
aspiring vocalists.
Th e rest is history as Carter developed his craft
well enough to perform at the old One Step Down,
Utopia, Bohemian Caverns, Blues Alley, Twins Lounge
and elsewhere. He’s worked with music veterans like
Bootsie Barnes, Buck Hill, Chris Grasso, Nasar Abadey and many others.
Carter performed with sax legend Barnes at Vicino’s in Silver Spring on
a Monday night in June, along with Bob Butta on piano, James King on bass,
and Abadey on drums. With Carter sitting in on vocals for a few songs each
set, they kept a packed house entertained all night with vintage standards
like “Satin Doll,” “Straight No Chaser,” “A Nigh in Tunisia” and “On Green
Dolphin Street.”
Carter said of that night with Barnes, “As long as a pro like Bootsie Barnes
is happy with my performance then that tells me I’m on the right track. He was
pleased, and I felt I had a strong performance, particularly given that none of us
had time to get together for a rehearsal.”
Last month Carter led a group with Paul Carr on tenor sax, Fred Hughes
on piano, Michael Bowie on bass and Chuck Redd on drums in front of an even
larger crowd at the Smithsonian Jazz Café – Carter said he had a lot of “nervous
energy” before the show.
He later said, “Once we struck up the band I was in my element and had
a ball! It’s like the opening song said, ‘Life’s a ball if only you know it, and it’s
all up to you, you’re alive so come on and show it. Th ere’s such a lot of livin’ to
do!’ I thought the show was energetic, well attended and fun…my musicians
were fantastic and the crowd stayed for the entire evening. Th ere is of course
always room for improvement and I look to the audience and to my musicians to
give me feedback.”
Carter says he needs to work on “vocal breathing, increasing my
repertoire, increasing my creativity and continuing to select songs to which
I can connect.” - DC North Community News: Jazz Avenues by Steve Monroe

"Jazz on the Menu: Music series satisfies diners at Vicino's in Silver Spring - by Chris Slattery"

When it comes to the Monday Night Jazz series at his Silver Spring Italian restaurant, John Eshun knows one thing: "I take care of the spaghetti and meatballs."

Eshun, a native of Ghana, started out as a dishwasher in a Bethesda restaurant, earned a degree in accounting and opened Vicino's nearly 20 years ago. And while he's all about the food and the customers — the restaurant owner is known for greeting diners as they enter — he leaves the details of the jazzy downstairs supper club to Ted and Chad Carter.

"They do everything," he says. "They put the posters on the wall, bring in the musicians.

"And our customers love it; they're very appreciative of the fact that we have this."

Also appreciative are the jazz artists who have performed every Monday evening these last four years — people like Ron Compton, Karen Gray, Bootsie Barnes, Paul Wingo, Barbara Morrison, Steve Novosel, Nasar Abadey, Bob Butta, Buck Hill, Michael Bowie, Chuck and Robert Redd and Lenny Robinson.

Ted Carter, who with his son, jazz singer Chad, facilitates the series and runs the online jazz community, says his interest in the art form goes back to his childhood in Port Chester, N.Y., where he was at school with the late Silver Spring jazz legend Keter Betts.

"I met him when I was a kid," Ted Carter says. "He was really dizzy trying to get his career started as fast as he could."

Years later, he ran into Betts at the East Coast Jazz Festival.

"He was a mainstay every year," Carter remembers. "He loved to play that festival; he and [the late ECJF founder] Ronnie Wells were great friends."

Betts loved the jazz scene in Silver Spring and the spaghetti and meatballs at Vicino's.

"Oh, Keter was a big supporter of Vicino's in general," laughs Chad Carter, Ted's son. "It was one of his favorite places to go and eat."

He says Betts never got to play the Monday Jazz Series — "We just missed getting him there before he passed" — but he came often to support the artists and enjoy the atmosphere and simple, well-prepared Italian food for which Vicino's is known.

"He came down to support us," Carter says. "I was shaking in my boots when he came to see my show."

It wasn't his first bout of stage fright. The 34-year-old vocalist didn't sing in public until he was well into his college years.

"I was too shy," he admits. "I kind of messed around with it in the privacy of my room."

But after earning a bachelor's degree in communications at Howard University, Carter deferred graduate school for a year and enrolled in a jazz workshop with Wells and Ron Elliston.

"It was a very nurturing environment, not threatening," he says. "Anybody could join, no matter what your level of experience, and after eight weeks, you get to perform in an actual club."

That sealed the deal for Carter. He did go to grad school — he holds a master's in public policy from Carnegie Mellon University — but says that after graduation, "I felt I had lost two years. There wasn't much time to eat or even sleep — forget about singing!"

He went back to the jazz workshop, but "it didn't fulfill my hunger to perform. Five songs at the end just wasn't enough."

That's when he started to look for a venue "to spread my wings."

"I use this analogy," he says. "Like a boxer in a gym, I wanted to go and hit the heavy bag."

Chad Carter and his dad decided Vicino's might be the place. The D.C. area, they could see, "was overflowing with talent," and while a weekly series was more than the younger Carter could handle on his own, he thought it would be a great home base for the jazz community.

"John was amenable to the idea," he recalls. "We asked to do one show. We said, ‘If you don't like it, we'll keep coming back for spaghetti and meatballs.'

"Seven years later, we're still there."

They'll be there on Monday: Chad Carter plus Frank Owens on piano, James King on bass and Keith Killgo on drums. Eshun will be on hand to greet his customers — and see to the meatballs, of course.

"I love music, and jazz is one of the great traditions," he says. "People need a place to listen to live music while they dine."

The Chad Carter Quartet performs at 8 p.m. Monday at Vicino Ristorante Italiano, 959 Sligo Ave., Silver Spring. Admission is $25, $20 in advance. Call 301-588-3372 or 202-726-6515.
- Silver Spring Gazzette


Chad Carter: Live at Vicino's (2004)

I GOT UP! Chad Carter with special guest Bootsie Barnes (2009)



Chad Carter: A Jazz Crooner Reminiscent of the Duke Ellington and Count Basie Era!

A Washington DC native, CHAD CARTER, developed an interest and appreciation for music at an early age, beginning his musical training and education as a member of the D.C. Youth Orchestra playing the viola. He also briefly studied piano. While pursuing his undergraduate degree at Howard University and graduate degree in information technology at Carnegie Mellon University, Chad regularly sang at local clubs in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. However, it wasn’t until 1998 that Chad began to seriously pursue his musical interest as a jazz vocalist. This interest was stimulated by his participation in the Elliston Music Studios for Jazz Studies’ Vocal Workshops under the direction of Ronnie Wells and Ron Elliston.

Since that time, Chad has performed at major jazz venues in the Washington, D.C. area such as Vicino’s Monday Night Jazz, Blues Alley, The Smithsonian Jazz Café, One Step Down, Utopia, Bohemian Caverns, Twins Lounge, The Islander, Westminster Presbyterian Church Jazz Night, The DC Improv, LaPorta's, the FMJS Y2K Quarterly Concert and Philadelphia's LaRose Supper Club. Chad has also play the famous Flushing Town Hall in Flushing New York. Among those talented jazz artists with whom Chad has shared the stage and performed are Frank Owens, Lyle Atkinson, Aaron Graves, Bootsie Barnes, Buck Hill, Greg Bufford, Fred Hughes, Nasar Abadey, Michael Bowie, Bob Butta, Amy Shook, Frank Russo, Steve Novosel, Barbara Morrison, Ronnie Wells, Ron Elliston, Ricky Loza, Hod O’brien, Paul Wingo, Chuck Redd, Robert Redd, Luis Hernandez, John Jensen, Frankie Addison, Ron Compton, Wade Beech, James "Tex" King, Tommy Cecil, Nadine Rae, Wes Biles, Vince Smith, Cheyney Thomas, Alfredo Mojica, Jr., Janelle Gill, Chris Grasso, Pepe Gonzalez, Mickey Roker, and Keith Killgo.

In 2002 Chad performed for the great Lionel Hampton in Washington D.C. at the Rayburn House Office Building hosted in part by the Honorable Congressman John Conyers. Chad first appeared at the FMSJ East Coast Jazz Festival in 2000, performing a tribute for jazz great and vocalist extraordinaire, Ernie Andrews. Chad was introduced to Mr. Andrews by his teacher and mentor, Ronnie Wells, another extraordinary vocalist. Throughout his musical journey, he has taken his inspiration from these two vocalists. Other artists he counts among his influences include Johnny Hartman, Little Jimmy Scott, Billy Eckstine, Carmen McRae, Betty Carter and Frank Sinatra.

In 2004, Chad launched his debut CD entitled “Chad Carter Live at Vicino’s.” His second CD is currently in production. Those who appreciate jazz crooning will particularly enjoy Chad’s renditions of these classic jazz standards. Chad regularly appears on Monday nights at Vicino’s Italian Restaurant in Silver Spring, Maryland.