13 Songs, 1 Hour 6 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles brings the spirit of the islands to an album of holiday songs. With his graceful grasp of multiple styles, Charles blends jazz with calypso on cuts like “Father Christmas” and “Make a Friend for Christmas” (with help from guest vocalist Relator) to joyous, harmonically sophisticated results. Steel drums have never sounded as jazzy as on “Indian Parang Chick.” And Charles shows off his straight-ahead bop chops too, burning his way through a jubilant reinvention of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles brings the spirit of the islands to an album of holiday songs. With his graceful grasp of multiple styles, Charles blends jazz with calypso on cuts like “Father Christmas” and “Make a Friend for Christmas” (with help from guest vocalist Relator) to joyous, harmonically sophisticated results. Steel drums have never sounded as jazzy as on “Indian Parang Chick.” And Charles shows off his straight-ahead bop chops too, burning his way through a jubilant reinvention of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”

Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
6 Ratings
6 Ratings

Jude

Milk and cookies 365

Orchestra a la Caribbean Mystique!

Escape to the Caribbean?

cynthiamonique

Get all his music. It's all great! You won't stop groovin! If he's in your neighborhood, you need to see him! You will not regret it!

About Etienne Charles

Etienne Charles is a trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and educator. Rooted in both the jazz and Afro-Caribbean folk traditions of his native Trinidad, his music is somewhat mercurial, but always accessible and inviting. He also plays steel drums and cuatro. Charles comes from a long line of musicians dating back four generations. He learned the cuatro from his grandfather, Ralph Charles, a highly regarded stylist on the instrument who can be heard on the Growling Tiger recordings. Etienne's first professional work was in his father Francis' progressive (and globally popular) steel drum ensemble Phase II Pan Groove.

Charles found his way to trumpet early and took it up in earnest as a young teen. After high school, he began winning awards at Fatima College in Trinidad. He was the first three-time winner of the Provincial Cup, and the youngest student ever to win it. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida State University -- where he studied with jazz pianist Marcus Roberts -- and was named Brautlecht Scholar of the College of Music. In 2008 he received his Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School of Music and was awarded the William Schuman Prize. Charles also attended the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles. Charles garnered much experience by appearing on stages with a host of notable musicians, including Wynton Marsalis, Monty Alexander, Gerald Wilson, Roberta Flack, Frank Foster, the Count Basie Orchestra, Maria Schneider, Johnny Mandel, and Benny Golson.

In 2006, Charles won the National Trumpet Competition, Jazz Division. That same year, his debut album, Culture Shock, appeared, and received positive reviews. Some of its sidemen included Ronny Jordan, Roberts, Vincent Gardner, and Ralph MacDonald. By the time Folklore was released in 2009, Charles had formed his own touring and recording band. In 2011, he began teaching at Michigan State University's College of Music as an assistant professor, and released his third album, Kaiso. He released his fourth album, Creole Soul, in July of 2013 and was awarded the Caribbean Heritage Trailblazer Award by the Institute of Caribbean, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2015. ~ Thom Jurek

HOMETOWN
Trinidad
GENRE
Jazz
BORN
1983

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