Get ready to swing and scat to the music of Duke Ellington as the Carolina Summer Music Festival Kicks off Jazz Day with an introduction to the great music and swing of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. Festival vocalist Martha Bassett joins narrator David Ford, host and producer of WFDD’s “Triad Arts up Close.”

The Artists

Martha Bassett,vocalist

Over the past decade Martha Bassett has entertained countless NC audiences. Her distinctive vocals, energetic performances, and magnetic stage presences are hallmarks to her many fans in the region. Martha’s dynamic talent has been at the forefront of several ensembles, including the popular swing band “Martha and the Moodswingers.” She currently tours full time with the “Martha Bassett Band,” an Americana/alt-country group performing original songs written by Martha and her band mates. With four recordings under her belt, another is due for release this fall.

Through many miles traveled, radio shows such as WDVX’s “Blue Plate Special,” festival appearances, her work on the Sony Classics film “Junebug,” and many positive reviews, Martha’s warm and pure voice is inspiring an engaged fan-base all along the East Coast. To learn more about Martha and peruse her calendar, go to

David Ford, narrator

David Fordearned his Bachelor and Master degrees in clarinet performance at Northwestern University, where he also studied composition and jazz arranging. After a career as a principal clarinetist in orchestras throughout the interior of Mexico, David returned to the states and began a radio-announcing career in Austin, Texas. At 89.5 KMFA, David produced and hosted hundreds of programs. Three of them (Mind Your Music, The Basics and T.G.I.F. Thank Goodness It’s Familiar) won international awards in the Fine Arts Radio Competition.

At 88.5 WFDD David writes, hosts and produces the daily arts feature Triad Arts Up Close that airs Monday through Thursday mornings at 8:50, and Triad Arts Weekend on Fridays at 1:30 PM. He’s written national features for KUSC and CPRN in Los Angeles and conducted interviews for Minnesota Public Radio’s Weekend America.

In his spare time, David enjoys playing tennis, drinking Krankie’s coffee with his wife, and family walks in the woods with their five-year-old son Rafa.

Jacqui Carrasco, violin

Jacqui Carrasco has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Mexico and Russia, including solo appearances at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and at the Library of Congress and chamber music concerts with the Cassatt String Quartet. Since moving to North Carolina in 1999, Ms. Carrasco has been featured in solo and chamber music performances at Duke University; the UNC campuses in Chapel Hill, Greensboro, and Wilmington; Music at Blowing Rock; the Foothills Chamber Music Festival; Chamber Music at St. Peter’s in Charlotte, and with the Salisbury Symphony. She joined the Carolina Piano Trio in 2005.

From 1992-2002, Ms. Carrasco was the violinist of the acclaimed contemporary music ensemble Cygnus and also appeared regularly with New York-based new music groups such as the S.E.M. Ensemble, Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Ensemble, Newband and Musicians Accord. Ms. Carrasco has toured extensively with the Mark Morris Dance Group and been a frequent guest at the June in Buffalo Festival at SUNY Buffalo. She has recorded contemporary chamber music for the Nonesuch, Koch, Mode, CRI and Braxton House record labels.

As a noted performer of Argentine tango music, Ms. Carrasco has appeared with cellist Yo-Yo Ma in concert and on television, as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and with the New York Buenos Aires Connection at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing. She has also been active as a jazz violinist, and her versatile skills have been featured in commercial, film and theater music, as well as on her CD Since We Met with the Jazz Strings Project. Ms. Carrasco received her B.A., magna cum laude, from UCLA, and her M.M. and D.M.A. from SUNY at Stony Brook, where she studied with Joyce Robbins. Having previously taught at Princeton University, she is now an Associate Professor of Music at Wake Forest University.

Federico Pivetta, piano

Federico Pivetta is a versatile pianist with a unique mastery of both classical and jazz styles. As an active accompanist, chamber musician and teacher, Mr. Pivetta has made numerous recital appearances with his wife, flutist Debra Reuter-Pivetta. In 1995, they released their critically acclaimed CD, “Passion and Romance.”

In February of 1999, they were winners of the Concert Artists Guild New York Competition, winning the Community Concerts Performance Prize. The year 2000 marked the beginning of an extensive concert tour across the United States. He has also accompanied renowned tenor saxophonist James Houlik in concerts across the United States, Caribbean and Europe. His collaborations with various jazz groups have resulted in several radio and television appearance and many recording projects. Other highlights include performances with jazz greats Ernie Watts and Arturo Sandoval. Mr. Pivetta is an active freelance musician and also maintains a private teaching studio. Federico Pivetta earned his Bachelor of Music degree at the North Carolina School of the Arts where his teachers included Eric Larsen, Anne Epperson and Barbara Lister-Sink.

Matt Kendrick, bass

Matt is an award winning bassist, composer and recording artist from Winston-Salem. He studied European classical bass at the North Carolina School of the Arts and Jazz Improvisation with Jerry Coker at UT Knoxville. He teaches Jazz Improvisation as an adjunct professor at Wake Forest University. Recently Matt Kendrick has appeared on Bass with: The Marian McPartland Trio, Ernie Watts, Gene Bertoncini, Archie Shepp, Jaki Byard, Amiri Baraka(aka Leroi Jones), Craig Harris, Dick Hyman and JoAnne Brackeen who was a guest star with the Matt Kendrick Unit at the Carrboro ArtsCenter. He also won the North Carolina Jazz Composers Fellowship Twice. He has four cd’s on his own Suitcase Music label and one on the Ichiban label which charted in the Gavin top 50 for national airplay.

John Wilson, drums

John C.B. Wilson has a love for music that has been a constant evolution. Early interests in rock bands led to a fascination with European Classical music at the N.C. School of the Arts and later graduate studies in jazz at the Manhattan School of Music. Several long years of living in New York were made bearable by inspiring musical relationships. The ranks of those whom he has joined on the bandstand include: Jon Hendricks, Milt Grayson, Joe Temperly, Junior Mance and & Cal Collins. Those of the younger generation include: Larry Goldings, & Stefon Harris, Ari Ambrose, Chris Potter and Mark Turner. John has also played with the Glen Miller Orchestra and the AS-Is Ensemble. He lives in Winston-Salem, NC and teaches at Davidson College, accompanies dance at NCSA, and performs in the area.