1920 to 1997
August 8, 1907 in Harlem
July 12, 2003
Manhattan, New York, United States
Bennett Lester Carter (August 8, 1907 – July 12, 2003) was an American jazz alto saxophonist, clarinetist, trumpeter, composer, arranger, and bandleader. He was a major figure in jazz from the 1930s to the 1990s, and was recognized as such by other jazz musicians who called him King. Carter performed with major artists from several generations of jazz, and at major festivals, such as his 1958 appearance with Billie Holiday at the Monterey Jazz Festival. The National Endowment for the Arts honored Benny Carter with its highest honor in jazz, the NEA Jazz Masters Award for 1986.