Regina Carter Judges Pulitzer Prize for Music

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Wednesday April 18, 2018

From The Washington Post

Kendrick Lamar’s Pulitzer win hailed as ‘big for music’
By: Mark Kennedy

The decision to award rapper Kendrick Lamar the Pulitzer Prize for music represents a historic moment for hip-hop and American music, according to two of the music jurors who picked the album ‘DAMN.’ as a finalist. […] One jury member, Grammy-nominated violinist Regina Carter, linked the award to the recent waves of people speaking up, pushing boundaries and refusing to be told what and what is not worthy. ‘Great art has to be acknowledged,’ she said. ‘If a work is great enough, you can’t deny it.’

The final decision was made by the Pulitzer board, which hailed Lamar’s CD as ‘a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.’ Carter admits she quietly thought to herself that the board was unlikely to give the award to Lamar. ‘Although we all strongly agreed that this would be such an important step ‘” if this were to really happen ‘” I just didn’t think it would, really.’ She said she was happily shocked by the final decision.

Carter, who was awarded a so-called ‘genius’ grant by the MacArthur Fellows Program, said Lamar heartily deserved the award. ‘I think he’s a genius,’ he said. ‘It’s part of our tapestry. We have to stop dividing the music and the art.’

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