10″ x 8″ Portrait of Felicia Carter singing with The New Legacy Jazz Band at the Princeton Jazz Festival, September 2002.
Originally from Washington, D.C., Felicia Carter has earned accolades from audiences, musicians, and critics for her “immaculate pipes” and dramatic song delivery. Her diverse performing arts resume started in the theatre. While earning a Bachelor of Arts in Drama, she began operatic vocal training. In the 90’s she was a key figure in Baltimore’s theatre and rock-n-roll scene. Carter performed leading roles with Axis Theatre, Mongrel Theatre, the Theatre Project, was guest member for the improv comedy troupe The Flying Tongues, and portrayed television character Lee Bigelow on “Homicide: Life on the Street”. Her musical direction of Axis Theatre’s “Tuesday” received critical applause. Contributing her voice to cabaret acts such as Snackie Hillman’s “The Gong Show” and “Sapatac”, as well as bands including The Almighty Senators, Annex, and They Came From Nowhere, Carter’s first songwriting began with Mark Harp and Guttersnipe. She then led her own punk-pop quartet Pottymouth for which she produced two albums of original music; “Lunch” and “Giddypopjunk”.
In 2000, she recorded her first jazz standard singing the title track for bassist Victor Dvoskin’s “There’s A Small Hotel”. 2001 marked the release of Carter’s self-produced jazz recording, “In the Pink…and Songs In Blue”. That same year, she was guest performer on New Legacy Jazz Band’s release, “5 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days” which included two of Carter’s original compositions. She subsequently celebrated over 30 artists by writing and producing two shows, “Great American Songwriters” and “Great American Performers”. In 2003, Carter was composer and lyricist for “Dipteracon”, an original musical adaptation of Jean Paul Sartre’s “The Flies”, which premiered at LaMaMa ETC in Manhattan. The Unified Jazz Ensemble featured Ms. Carter on the 2005 release, “Live at 49 West”. From this recording, the track “Makin’ Whoopee” was culled for inclusion on Baltimore Jazz Alliance’s 2006 compilation CD “Jazzscapes”. During this time, as a member of the “Sistas Can Sang!” ensemble, she appeared at numerous venues, including Martin Luther King International Chapel. In 2007, Carter was invited to perform with the Tony Martucci Quartet at the Jazz y Vino Festival in Chile, and was a featured performer on saxophonist Russell Kirk’s recording, Black and White. That same year, Carter collaborated with composer/bassist Amy Shook, writing music and lyrics for the PBS documentary “Next Stop: Silver Spring” (WETA). In 2009, she was commissioned to compose original music for a production of “Troy Women” at Washington College.
Carter’s 2008 release, “Feather/Step Lightly”, is a critically acclaimed double-disc recording of original music and jazz standards. From this album, Carter’s composition, “Louise”, was a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition. In 2010, Carter and Amy Shook joined forces in forming ShookShak Productions, to showcase their original music. Their 2011 maiden release, “Nothing to Do”, features the same core ensemble from “Feather/Step Lightly” – Amy Shook on bass, Bob Butta on piano, Frank Russo on drums, and Donato Soviero on guitar. In 2011, Carter and Shook created and performed a holiday program for Centerstage’s Cabaret Series. The following year, ShookShak was featured as the 2012 house band for the Stoop Storytelling Series, also held at Centerstage.
Carter’s past performances include Artscape, Blues Alley, Carmichael Auditorium, Centerstage, Chris’s Jazz Cafe, Jazz y Vino Festival, Jazzfeast, The Mainstay, Mandarin Oriental, Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Rasmuson Theater, Twins Jazz, and the Voice of America Auditorium.