About Allen Carter


Allen Carter has a diverse background as a  composer/arranger/drummer/percussionist/educator. Born and raised in Ellinwood, Kansas, he received his Bachelor of Music degree from Kansas State University, and his Master of Music and Doctor of Arts degrees from the University of Northern Colorado. Throughout his school years, he won numerous awards in the areas of performance and composition/arranging.

A member of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers and the Film Music Network, Dr. Carter’s work as a composer/arranger includes CBS Television’s Motown Records specials, the cable television series Humonos, the Tournament of Roses Parade, the Miss America pageant, commercials, and documentaries for the department of Health, Education, and Welfare.  In addition, he has written extensively for instrumental and vocal jazz groups at all levels.

As a drummer/percussionist (he began “gigging” with local groups at age 11), Dr. Carter has performed with the Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra, the Joffrey Ballet, Les Brown’s Band of Renown, the Los Angeles Jazz Workshop and numerous other Los Angeles area big bands.  He has worked with such vocalists as Nancy Wilson, Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles, Melissa Manchester, Harry Connick Jr., and Glen Campbell and has been involved in numerous recording sessions for records, films, and commercials.  Appearances as featured artist have taken Dr. Carter across the United States as well as to concert stages and jazz clubs in many foreign countries.

Allen has recorded two critically acclaimed CDs as band leader; “Gifts” and “Time On My Hands” featuring some of the finest studio/jazz musicians in Los Angeles playing his compositions and arrangements. Both CDs are available through iTunes and cdbaby.com.

At the current time, Allen serves as Professor of Music at Minnesota State University, Moorhead where he teaches in the jazz studies and music theory programs while being an active member of a surprisingly busy jazz scene in the Fargo-Moorhead area.  He has lectured internationally to educators and students on a wide range of jazz education, composition/arranging and percussion topics and was a member of the resource team for the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) during its existence. Performing groups under his direction have been awarded recognition at the national level and he has directed numerous honor groups for educator associations throughout the western United States.  Along with his ongoing work teaching, playing, and writing, Dr. Carter continues his work in creating interactive pedagogical tools for music educators and their students.