Music News
Remembering Renowned jazz educator and musician Ron Carter

Ron Carter, a renowned jazz educator and musician, passed away on February 24, 2024, leaving behind a legacy of inspiration and innovation. Born on July 5, 1953, near Naylor, Georgia Ron dedicated his life to nurturing young talent and advancing the art of jazz.

Throughout his distinguished career, Ron held various roles, including 17 years as the high school band director in East St. Louis, IL, and 23 years as the Director of Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University. He also served as a clinician, artist, and author, contributing his expertise to institutions such as Essentially Ellington and Jazz at Lincoln Center. 

“I had the pleasure of working with Ron Carter at East St. Louis Lincoln Sr. High School for nearly two decades as he introduced and nurtured countless students into the world of music that we all love!” said Denise “Dj Niecy” Williams, host of The Ballad and The Beat of Love on KDHX. “Many of those students are accomplished musicians, both locally and nationally while others are teaching as band directors or performing musically! Ron lived and loved music and our youth benefitted from that ‘Ron Carter SWING!’”

His impact extended beyond the classroom, as he served as an education consultant, including his three years as the Capel Distinguished Professor at Fayetteville State University. 

Throughout his illustrious career, Ron collaborated professionally with a stellar array of artists, including luminaries such as Wynton Marsalis, Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Lena Horne, Lou Rawls, The Temptations, The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and many more esteemed musicians.

“Back in the day when I was a young DJ, Mr. Ron Carter worked for the East St. Louis School District as the director of the Lincoln Senior High School Jazz Band,” recalled Edith “Your Lady Edie B.” Anderson, host of R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs Very Personal) on KDHX. “His students earned recognition at the local, regional, national, and international levels making the band the pride and joy of East St. Louis. Twice Mr. Carter chose me to emcee his legendary jazz Band Concerts at the prestigious high school. Both times I was nervous and honored to be a part of what is now a legendary time in East St. Louis history."

"Through the years I have played on-air, music by many jazz artists whom Mr. Carter has mentored, and I'm grateful for that. I will always remember him as kind, caring, talented, and always ready and willing to listen," Anderson said. "I will miss him dearly. May he rest in eternal peace.”

“Ron's impact on jazz to young people extended throughout many cities in the United States sharing his expertise and training technique with far too many to count,” added Williams. “Carter was a true visionary and a living legend.”

Read Ron Carter’s full obituary.

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