Carter Graham’s rhythmic style of playing, informed by his love of bebop and pop music is instantly the most recognizable aspect of his performances, and while doing so he always brings an energetic positivity on stage that is infectious and delights audiences. His sound and style comes from a deep respect and admiration for jazz, soul, R&B, blues, funk and rock n’ roll, as well as classical music.
Early in his career, Carter became a first-call musician in his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. During this time he led his own trio as well as an original band, Vox Populi, which kicked off the 2017 Winnipeg International Jazz Festival at Old Market Square. He has also been afforded the opportunity to perform with such jazz greats as Rodney Whitaker, Quincy Davis, Derrick Gardner, Randy Napoleon and Jon Gordon. Major festival appearances include the Detroit Jazz Festival, Winnipeg International Jazz Festival, East Lansing Jazz Festival, Livonia Jazz Festival and Break Out West Festival. Carter has recorded for film twice; one documentary and one original film, the latter winning first place at the Gimli Film Festival and has also served as a pit musician for Rainbow Stage’s production of Shrek the Musical. While completing his Masters at Michigan State University, Carter was busy writing arrangements for a student octet, which he led, and had the opportunity to have his charts performed by guest artists Andrew Speight and Mimi Jones.
His skills as a performer are not limited to any one style or genre and Carter has always sought to be involved in diverse musical projects. His love of music has led him to work with blues bands, beat-boxers, rappers, rock, funk and soul artists from Canada, the USA and beyond.
As an educator, Carter has over 10 years experience of private instruction as well as teaching at the University of Manitoba Jazz Camp and the Manitoba Conservatory of Music, with whom he currently serves as a piano instrucor. He most recently served as the piano instructor at the Boys Club of New York in Lower Manhattan, an after school drop-in center for youths.
After a life-changing stay in New York City, Carter has returned to Winnipeg, ready to commit to community musical outreach and prepare for his debut recording as a leader. Always invested in further honing his craft on the piano while continuing to carve out a distinct artistic voice, he aspires to create music that is honest, playful, speaks truth to power and weaves beauty through the art of compositional story-telling.