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Benny Carter’s Biography and Work Research Paper

Dates (Birth/Death/major milestones

Benny Carter was born on the 8th day of August in 1907. He was an American jazz musician (Yanow, 168). He was a bandleader, an arranger as well as a music composer. He was also a clarinetist and a talented alto saxophonist. He later died on the 12th day of July 2003. The artist enjoyed and dominated eight decades of singing. In 1987, he won the Lifetime Achievement Award after successful nomination into the award’s category.

He also won the Best Jazz Instrumental Solo award way back in 1994. However, he was a nominee in several Jazz and R&B categories such as the Best Jazz Instrumental Performance – Group and the Best Jazz Instrumental Solo in 1986 and 1993 respectively.

Birthplace and Major Locations during life.

Benny Carter’s birthplace was in New York City. In 1935, the Jazz artist moved to Europe. His main purpose for relocating was to work for the British Broadcasting Corporation as a staff arranger and also join Lewis’s orchestra as a trumpet player.

He traveled widely across Europe for three consecutive years while recording jazz music with other renowned artists in the region. In 1948, he returned home and shortly moved to Los Angeles. He formed a powerful orchestra team while in Los Angeles (Berger 77).

Musical Training

The Jazz artist was not trained in music at the initial stages of his career. However, he later joined concert, seminar and music classes at Princeton University after being convinced by Morroe Berger. The latter was a professor of Sociology at the institution. He was awarded an honorary masters degree in humanities by the institution.

Performance Instruments

Benny Carter was trained by his mother how to play piano at a very tender age. At the age of fifteen years, he was in a position to teach himself how to play piano and other instruments. The top bands in New York also professionalized his skills in singing and playing vital instruments (Martin 6).

Historical Importance

He strongly presented the beauty and value of music in three major genres, namely jazz, big band, and the swing.

Writing or composing styles

The artist wrote the songs by himself. There were limited songs that were co-written in his large collection of musical compositions.

Method of composing

He performed in group bands. He was also a soloist who composed and performed in large orchestras.

Musical Innovations and Inventions information are not available in this area. Interesting facts

  • He divorced three times and finally settled with the fifth wife
  • He was the only male in a family of six children.
  • He was also referred to as the king by other musicians and fans of his music.


  • He intensively interacted with the top bands in New York during his early life in a music career.
  • He interacted with Miley, who was a superb player of the trumpet.
  • The artist worked with BBC as a music arranger.

Major types of compositions

He was a music arranger, a sideman, songwriter, and bandleader.


Benny Carter made a living as a musical arranger, composer, leader of various bands, and an outstanding musician.

Family Life

The Jazz artist married in 1925 although the wife died after merely after three years of marriage. She suffered from a serious bout of pneumonia. However, he married four more times and eventually settled with Hilma Ollila Arons as the fifth wife. Although they got married in 1979, the couple had known each other since 1940. The artist divorced three wives.

Major works

Some of the major works of Benny Carter included Only Trust Your Heart When Lights Are Low and Gone with the Wind. He wrote these songs by himself. His compositions were interpreted by almost fifteen artists due to the perceived complexity. In the songs above, he blended them quite well with instruments bearing in mind that he was also conversant with playing several musical instruments (Dicaire 169).

Works Cited

Berger, Morroe. Benny Carter, a Life in American Music. London: Scarecrow Press, 1982. Print.

Dicaire, David. Jazz Musicians of the Early Years, to 1945. North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers, 2003. Print.

Martin, Henry. Jazz: The First 100 Years. Thomson: Wadsworth, 2005. Print.

Yanow, Scott. Jazz on Record: The First Sixty Years. New York: Backbeat Books, 2003. Print.

This Research Paper on Benny Carter’s Biography and Work was written and submitted by user Braelynn Klein to help you with your own studies. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.

Braelynn Klein studied at Creighton University, USA, with average GPA 3.63 out of 4.0.

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Klein, B. (2019, September 28). Benny Carter's Biography and Work [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Work Cited

Klein, Braelynn. "Benny Carter's Biography and Work." IvyPanda, 28 Sept. 2019,

1. Braelynn Klein. "Benny Carter's Biography and Work." IvyPanda (blog), September 28, 2019.


Klein, Braelynn. "Benny Carter's Biography and Work." IvyPanda (blog), September 28, 2019.


Klein, Braelynn. 2019. "Benny Carter's Biography and Work." IvyPanda (blog), September 28, 2019.


Klein, B. (2019) 'Benny Carter's Biography and Work'. IvyPanda, 28 September.

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