Our Spotlight on the Arts is shining brightly on songstress Latrice Carr!
We first met Latrice Carr and her band members (the “Muzician’s Den”) when they were the featured artists for the Downtown Tunes concert in Leonardtown back in the summer of 2017. The first thing that we noticed, and of course these were very much pre-COVID times, that there were a LOT of people there! The Square was packed, armchair to armchair, blanket to blanket, with guests milling in the streets and outdoor dining areas. People of so many different ages and so many different walks of life, present together for an amazing evening of entertainment and live music.
Once Latrice and her band took the stage we knew instantly why the crowd was so large – their performance was absolutely electrifying! There was dancing on the grass and the adjacent street areas as people jumped to their feet to move to the beat. Renditions of hits such as “Happy” and “Sweet Home Alabama”, all with Latrice’s own special twist, led into soulful ballads of “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Stand By Me” among many others on the songlist. And oh yes – there was not sitting still during “The Wobble”, a favorite of Latrice’s many followers!
We had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Carr in person during a short break back then but knew that someday we had to learn more, see below to see what we learned from her replies to a few questions!
How long have you been involved with participation with your art form?
At the early age of 7 Latrice was performing her very first solo songs at church in Newport News, VA.
From there her hard work and natural talents helped her to secure several spots in the audition-based circuit of the “Able and Ambitious”, a program designed for talented singers and performers from elementary school levels through 12thgrade.
After graduating high school and marrying at the young age of 20, Latrice’s music quest was placed on a back burner but the fire was still there and flames shining bright! As an Army wife in 1998 through 2000 and residing with husband James overseas, Mrs. Carr was able to join the “Gospel Messengers”of Kaiserslautern, Germany, a group which toured the countryside on weekends and performed at various events both on base and in the local community.
Once returning to the United States at the end of 2000, Latrice sang upon request for various churches and cameos for local bands. By 2009 she formed the “Latrice Carr Music Group” (LCMG) with her husband and a new experience at a whole new level had begun! Venues throughout the Maryland, D.C., and Northern Virginia area were inquiring and booking LCMG. Latrice was now accompanied by a fully arranged musician band and the requests were coming in quickly for appearances in our local area and beyond! These venues and events have included appearances at the Maryland Live Casino, the Caesars’ Baltimore Horseshoe Casino, the iconic DC’s Ivy City, multiple national anthems for the Major League Baseball, Washington Nationals and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, as well as many military change of commands.
Locally in the Southern Maryland Community concerts have included ArtsFest at Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center, the Annual Juneteenth Celebration in Lexington Park, Leonardtown’s Downtown Tunes concerts (now part of the Leonardtown Summer Music Festival) and most recently at the “Stay at Home” concert at Spider Hall Farm, a socially distanced drive-in multi-band concert last December 18th.
What have been your past and/or present inspirations?
One of Latrice’s past inspirational artists has been Whitney Houston for as long as Mrs. Carr can remember and as she relates, “Everyone wanted to sing like her and if you could do her songs and people liked it, then you knew you were doing something great”. Other inspirations for Latrice have been her children, she desires for them to chase whatever dreams they have and understand the talent that God has blessed them with.
Do you have a favorite style/ genre or other favorite aspect of your artistry and why?
“Music to me is music!” Latrice claims that she doesn’t really have a favorite genre or style, as long as she finds it moving to her heart and soul. She fully believes that music is the one thing that has the potential to bring all people together and has the capacity to heal at moments of despair. Latrice enjoys reading into the words of songs to find deeper meanings and subjects which people can relate to. When she performs, she wants people to enjoy what they hear within a multi-sensory experience and leave with a lasting impression of positivity and joy.
What are a few of your other interests or occupations outside of your art, community volunteerism, or anything else that you would like to share with us?
Mrs. Carr’s fulltime occupation has been being employed as a Human Resource Manager for a local privately owned government contractor for the last 12 years, which is much different than her work as an artist but in some ways very similar as she enjoys working with people in general and at her specific company.
The Latrice Carr Music Group has given back to their community at many different occasions. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, LCMG members have provided lunches to frontline and other essential workers as a token of appreciation and gratitude. In the past year they have also sponsored book bag drives for children in need, given monetary donations to a variety of charitable groups, and assisted with water distribution to those experiencing homelessness on the hottest summer days in St Mary’s County.
This past Thanksgiving they donated several turkeys to those in need along with 20 hot meals to sponsored senior citizens in the area. This coming Christmas they are planning to give away gift cards to neighboring community members to help those who need it the most to purchase essential items.
Latrice Carr has a large heart, big dreams, and endless talent! Thank you for being a valuable part of our artistic community, we are very much looking forward to your next ventures!
Quote: God gives you a talent that becomes your weapon of life. It’s up to you to use it in the best manner that you can!
Learn more about our featured artist at Facebook@latricecarrmusicgroup
Photos and credit info provided by artist as follows:
Lawrence Chase (2018 group photo)
Roy Cox of Roy Cox Photography (www.4-optic.com) – Latrice w/ long hairstyles
Michael Johnson of Mojo Photography (www.mojosphotography.com) – Latrice w/ short hairstyles
2017 Group Photo and Downtown Tunes event: W. Davis for Leonardtown Business Association