Considered the foremost jazz violinist of her generation, REGINA CARTER was lauded by The MacArthur Foundation for ”pioneering new possibilities for the violin and for jazz” as they awarded her a MacArthur Fellowship (“genius grant”) in 2006. An active performer, educator, and mentor, Regina was steeped in music from infancy--with piano lessons at two, violin at four, followed by tap and ballet. As a teenager, she took master classes from Itzhak Perlman and Yehudi Menuhin while working on viola, oboe, and choir lessons. At that time, she also discovered the jazz violin of Stéphane Grappelli. Leaving Detroit, her musical journey took her from classical training to jazz instruction; from Germany, back to Michigan and on to New York. Regina became part of the all-female jazz-pop quintet Straight Ahead before heading to New York to pursue a solo career. She has played an 18th-century violin that once belonged to Niccolò Paganini, and done session work for Faith Evans, Mary J. Blige, and Detroit techno pioneer Carl Craig. She has accompanied Aretha Franklin, Billy Joel, and Dolly Parton, played with Max Roach and Oliver Lake, and joined the String Trio of New York. Describing her CD, Reverse Thread, the Village Voice wrote, “Her own contribution isn't jazz, or folk, or ‘world’—it's all those things and more, pure human joy filtered through technical virtuosity.” Regina has nine CD’s as a leader; her most recent, Southern Comfort, an Editor’s Pick in DownBeat, was Regina’s “homage to my family, but it turned out to be so much more.”
Catching the attention of Betty Carter, a young XAVIER DAVIS found himself in New York working as the exclusive pianist for the Betty Carter Trio. Today, Xavier is known worldwide. He is an Associate Professor of Jazz Piano at Michigan State University and has taught in the Jazz department of the Juilliard School. Greatly influenced by the mentorship of Carl Allen, James Williams, and Billy Hart, Xavier has performed and recorded with Freddie Hubbard, Tom Harrell, Christian McBride, Regina Carter, Stefon Harris, Abbey Lincoln, Wynton Marsalis, Don Byron, Nat Adderley, Nicholas Payton, Jon Faddis, Jimmy Greene, Steve Turre, Al Foster, and Jeremy Pelt among others. He has worked with the Boy's Choir of Harlem as their Musical Director; played keyboard for the television series Cosby; performed on more than 50 albums; is part of the Christian McBride Big Band and was featured on Christian's GRAMMY winning album The Good Feeling. As a bandleader, Xavier has two critically acclaimed albums-- Dance of Life and The Innocence of Youth. A composer, arranger, and producer of music Xavier is also an experienced film and commercial music composer/producer.