Etienne Charles Quintet; Monday, August 19, 2013


Etienne Charles Quintet
Monday, August 19, 2013
Kuumbwa Jazz

“…a daring improviser…with heart-wrenching lyricism” – JazzTimes

One of the most compelling young jazz artists around is trumpeter/bandleader Etienne Charles.  His newest album, Creole Soul, is a captivating journey of new jazz expression that taps into a myriad of styles rooted in his Afro-Caribbean background; from calypso to Haitian voodoo music.  The New York Times calls him “one of [jazz’s] more ambitious soloists and composers,” and on Creole Soul, his most accomplished recording so far in his young career, shows great promise to a future of more ebullient and intimate artistry.

While still in his twenties, Charles has already released three impressive and well-received albums on his own Culture Shock Music record label.  His fourth release, Creole Soul is his most ambitious and buoyantly calls into action calypso, reggae, Afro-Haitian kongo music, Dominican belair rhythms, Haitian mascaron songs, as well as R&B and straight-ahead jazz.

“Jazz is Creole music,” says Charles, who was born in Trinidad, before relocating to Florida and then New York.  He adds, “I’ve been influence by so much music.  And my family has a mixed background, with French Caribbean, Spanish and African roots, as well as Venezuelan influences.  I come from a fusion of cultures.  That’s what this album is all about; focusing on soul music that is Creole at heart…me discovering things about my ancestors after so many years.”

His stellar quintet features a rising-star cast including guitarist Gilad Hekselman, one of the most exciting Israeli-born musicians on the jazz scene, twenty-something Hekselman has drawn praise for his smooth sound and impeccable technique. Pianist Victor Gould is a Berklee alumni and two-year Thelonious Monk Institute ensemble member (’09-11). Bassist Ben Williams is a rising star on the scene and the winner of the 2009 Thelonious Monk International Bass Competition. Drummer John Davis has been a New York staple of Afro-Cuban Jazz, and Swing style ensembles since his relocation to the big city in 2004. Playing arrangements that are often spicy, rootsy and grooving, they set a perfect stage for Charles’ crisp trumpet lines. Performing a mix of covers and original compositions, Charles and his group present thoughtful, lyrical interpretations of the music that has shaped Charles throughout his life.  As DownBeat celebrates him as “melodically captivating” and “rhythmically agile,” Charles continues to impress and inspire through his vision to connect the worlds of jazz and Caribbean music…worlds, as he shows through his music, that are not that far apart.

Etienne Charles Quintet

DATE: Monday, August 19, 2013
PLACE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at:
MORE INFO: or 831-427-2227 

Media contact:
Carla Sacks

# # #

Category: Press Releases · Tags:

Stay Connected

Facebook Twitter YouTube Flickr
Tumblr Kuumbwa Jazz Blog RSS FeedInstagram