In the creative world, we sometimes accept the notion that individuality must be sacrificed for success, or that professionalism is a substitute for passion. Though all of these qualities have great importance, they are far from mutually exclusive and all can be present when one exercises care in their field. Carter Arrington's lifetime of professional live performance and academic training has made him one of the most sought-after guitarists in Austin, a valued private teacher, and a fixture across genres and many musical scenes.
Growing up in Roanoke, VA, Carter discovered the guitar at age twelve. The eventual decision to make music a career solidified during a trip to Berklee in Boston to attend their summer guitar sessions. The level of talent and fellowship he experienced from these other musicians hailing from all over the world left him inspired and determined, and it felt like home. Later relocating to Atlanta, Carter attended the Atlanta Institute of Music at night while still in his junior year of high school, later teaching classes after graduating. AIM provided a valuable foundation to further his education, and the city of Atlanta was home to an incredible pallet of culture, both musically and personally. Eventually arriving in Austin to attend The University of Texas in 2003, the city's live music scene provided the ultimate training ground for his musical development. Balancing ongoing study and instruction with live performance in a variety of settings, Austin was the place to develop a career and thrive.
By 2006, Carter completed his Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance at the University of Texas at Austin. Highlights include 3 Downbeat Student Music Awards and performances at the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals. After graduation, Carter continued his teaching career both privately and through UT's ALMA program while expanding his performance opportunities throughout the city and beyond.
Carter has worked with a variety of artists and has shared performance/recording credits with The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Progger, Peter Rowan, Eric Johnson, Alejandro Escovedo, Bernard Purdie, Fred Wesley, David Grissom, Crystal Bowersox, Col. Bruce Hampton, Kirk Covington, MOTOWN The Musical, Andre Hayward, Carmen Bradford, and many others both in the US and abroad. Commercial clients for studio work have included The Sundance Channel, Texas A&M, The Texas Lottery, Treviso, Louis Henna Chevrolet, among many others.
2016 was a landmark year for new opportunities and included the release of fusion group Progger's 3rd album, "Scattering", on Ropeadope records, a run of shows with the critically acclaimed Broadway play "Motown! The Musical", headlining the Psycho Las Vegas festival with Arthur Brown, performing weekly with guitar monster David Grissom, and some touring with rock-icon Alejandro Escovedo. A show with the ATL Collective presenting music from James Brown's Funky Christmas presented the opportunity to perform for some of the Brown family and to share the stage with legends Bernard Purdie(Steely Dan, Aretha Franklin) and James' long standing trombonist, Fred Wesley.
2017 has brought a tour with The Crazy World of Arthur Brown in 8 major cities in support of the Zim Zam Zim album and Arthur's 1st tour in the United States in 47 years, the last time being in 1969 playing massive festivals alongside Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, and Jefferson Airplane. Tracking for Progger's 4th album at Atlantic Sound Studios in Brooklyn NY, work on a soundtrack for the short film "What We Have Left", and playing on a television pilot for "Pacific Coast Highwaymen" has kept the front half of the year busy along with the usual gigs and work around Austin.
With a driven personality, dedication to new opportunities, and a reputation for his pursuit of excellence, Carter Arrington has made passion for music the center of his life. He brings a strong musical foundation combined with seasoned performance experience, and his network of satisfied band mates, clients, and students would be happy to tell you just how easy he makes it look.