“A daring improviser, Charles also delivers with heart-wrenching lyricism” - Jazz Times
Trumpeter Etienne Charles, born in Trinidad and still in his 20s, is among the most compelling young jazz artists to burst forth in this decade. He is ushering in a constantly evolving and groundbreaking genre of Afro-Caribbean jazz that is finding enthusiastic audiences as evidenced by four impressive albums and a busy touring schedule. His album, Creole Soul, bristles with an energy that goes beyond the expectations of just a Caribbean influence in jazz. It is a captivating sonic journey, a new jazz expression. It taps into a myriad of styles rooted in his Afro-Caribbean background and plumbs the musical depths of the islands, from calypso to Haitian voodoo music. Also in the jazz amalgam mix are reggae, kongo and rock, as well as the influence R&B music that Charles listened to on his parents' record player when he was growing up.
Charles relocated to Florida graduating from the jazz studies programs of Florida State University, then Juilliard, and currently teaches jazz trumpet at Michigan State University. "As a person in the new world, I've been influenced by so much music. And my family has a mixed background of French, Caribbean, Spanish and African roots.... I come from a a fusion of rhythms, a fusion of cultures. That's what this band is all about: a jazz-based focus on Creole soul music that is Creole at heart."
Etienne Charles - trumpet and percussion
Brian Hogans - saxophones
Victor Gould - piano
Alex Wintz - guitar
Jonathan Michel - bass
John Davis - drums
Funding for South Florida JAZZ is provided in part by grant from the Broward County