Trinidad born Etienne Charles is a performer, composer and storyteller, who is constantly searching for untold tales and sounds with which to tell them. His lush trumpet sound, varied compositional textures and pulsating percussive grooves enable him to invoke trance, soothing and exciting listeners while referencing touchy and sometimes controversial subjects in his music. Highlighting marginalized communities and engaging with them has been his mission, evident with projects such as his Guggenheim Fellowship Project, Carnival: The Sound of a People Vol. 1, San Jose Suite, Creole Soul, Folklore and his latest commission, San Juan Hill – A New York Story. His concerts engage, enlighten, educate and enrich audiences with energized multidisciplinary performance utilizing original composition, thematic improvisation, dance, short films and spoken word to create a holistic experience. A firm believer in music and performance as a tool for provoking thought and dialogue, Charles’s themes speak to the status quo while drawing parallels to history.
As an Afro-descendant, his work is actively connecting the diaspora and drawing lines to the regions at the roots of migrations, evident in his latest release, Live in San Francisco Vol. 1.