Detroit native Regina Carter started on the violin at age four. She contemplated a career in classical music, but turned to jazz during her studies at the New England Conservatory of Music. Upon returning to Michigan, she joined all-female jazz ensemble Straight Ahead. In the early 1990s, Carter moved to New York, where she did some session work. In 1995, she recorded a first album as a leader. The eponymous debut blended R&B, pop, and jazz. Two years later, the violinist accompanied Wynton Marsalis on Blood on the Fields. Her third LP, Rhythms of the Heart, came out in 1998 on Verve. For 2010's Reverse Thread, Carter explored African music, both traditional and modern.