Meet Bryan Carter, jazz drummer and Broadway orchestrator, as he steps center stage to tell his own coming out story with the upcoming jazz album I Believe, due out from La Reserve Records and Bandstand Presents June 3. The single "You and I," co-written with Jon Batiste, is the first of a trilogy of tunes on the album that document the musician's journey. Check out the premiere video of "You and I" above.
Trained in jazz studies at The Juilliard School, Carter has worked as a performer, composer, arranger, and music director in the world of film and television, with credits on Maya & Marty and Sesame Street, as well as recorded with jazz greats like Wynton Marsalis, Kenny Barron, and vocalists Kurt Elling and Michael Feinstein. Broadway audiences may have heard some of his work in his additional orchestrations to the Tony-nominated musical A Strange Loop. He's also on board as co-orchestrator for next season's Some Like It Hot with Charlie Rosen, A Strange Loop's Tony-nominated primary orchestrator.
"'You and I' is the beginning of a story that I’ve wanted to tell for a very long time," says Carter. "As a queer, Black man, the idea of being out and freely expressing who I was carried a compounding weight. We can feel this inclination to settle, bargaining with ourselves that we can learn to love someone we aren’t attracted to because it will make our path easier. Jon Batiste penned a beautiful lyric expressing that sentiment in the song: 'true love only grows with time.' On an album, I knew that I needed to provide others the representation that would have reassured the younger, scared version of myself. Our stories are more than just our own—they’re a testimony that is shared by anyone who has ever felt that they didn’t belong. It’s a privilege to represent our community on screen—and hopefully encourage the next generation to have pride in being different."
Carter can be seen in concert June 27 at Dizzy's Club - Jazz at Lincoln Center for Jazz at Pride, an event he founded in 2019. Bryan Carter’s Jazz at Pride Orchestra will perform with featured guests including Ella Bric, Richard Cortez, Nathan Farrell, J Hoard, Vuyo Sotashe, Charles Turner, and Charenee Wade. Tickets for Jazz at Pride are available here.