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Etienne Charles and Creole Soul

September 15, 2018 @ 8:00 pm

This Trinidad-born trumpet star claims that, for him, “jazz is Creole music.” His performances incorporate the songs and rituals of the Caribbean carnival that influenced him to pursue music: danceable, percussion grooves that drive masterful, improvisational forays to delectable heights. The recipient of a Lincoln Center Millennial Swing Award and a CMA New Works Grant, Charles is now an assistant professor at Michigan State University. He has released three highly acclaimed albums as a leader and performed/recorded with luminaries including Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Roberts, Monty Alexander, Maria Schneider, the Count Basie Orchestra and Roberta Flack. In the promo video for his latest recording, Charles explains the connection he makes between his compositions and the carnivals of Trinidad: [Carnivals are imbued with] “melody, rhythm, dance and image. We can now take the sound of it and take the colors of it, the energy of it. Because this is us as a people…this is our way of celebrating freedom, life, death, family, our history, our culture, our food, our music. It’s all in one word and that’s “carnival.”

"A daring Improviser, Charles also delivers with heart-wrenching lyricism"

—Jazz Times

Etienne Charles: Trumpet