Terri Lyne Carrington is a Grammy-winning drummer, percussionist, composer, bandleader, and producer. Her signature, and often-emulated funky drumming style has been applied to many different settings, from jazz and soul to rock, blues, and crossover classical music. She is among the first significant female drummers in jazz and has worked extensively with Clark Terry, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and many others. After beginning her recording career with bassist Rufus Reid's trio, she released Real Life Story, her Grammy-nominated leader debut in 1989. She spent the next 12 years as one of jazz's most in-demand drummers. After assuming the leader mantle again for 2002's acclaimed Jazz Is a Spirit, she began working in that capacity regularly, while continuing her work as a session and touring musician. In 2007, Carrington was appointed professor at her alma mater, Berklee College of Music. In 2011, she issued the Grammy-winning The Mosaic Project that straddled jazz and R&B with an all-star band of female players and singers who included Wilson, Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Gretchen Parlato. The following year she won a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Album for Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue, on which she led an eight-piece ensemble. In 2015, she issued Mosiac Project: Love and Soul, and four years later led a new band called Social Science, along with a dozen guests, on the politically themed The Waiting Game.
Carrington was regarded as a prodigy in her hometown of Medford, Massachusetts. While in high school and college, she impressed many veteran jazz players. Moving to New York City in the early '80s, she began to get gigs with local musicians before gaining enough attention to warrant another move, this time to California, where she was seen by millions on a nightly basis as a member of the band on The Arsenio Hall Show and worked with Wayne Shorter's late-'80s band. She released her debut recording as a leader on Verve Forecast in 1989. Into the late '90s, Carrington continued working steadily and was heard best in funk settings, as exemplified by her work with Herbie Hancock.