in Mississippi and raised in Chicago. Charles graduated from the
famous DuSable High School, studied at the Chicago School of Music
and was a private student of John Hauser.
-- Played in the bands of Billie Holliday and Ben Webster, Sun
Ra and Dinah Washington. Performed and recorded with Kenny Dorham
with whom he had a musical association that lasted many years.
-- Performed and recorded with Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison.
Illinois Jacquet, Freddie Hubbard, Johnny Griffin, Steve Lacy,
Ahmad Jamal and worked with Blue Mitchell, Erskine Hawkins, John
Coltrane, Clifford Jordan, among others. In 1964 he won Downbeat
Magazine's International Jazz Critics Poll for the baritone saxophone.
Performed in the musical production of "The Philosophy of
The Spiritual - A Masque of the Black" under the direction
of Willie Jones and the auspices of Nadi Qumar. Taught at PS 179
in Brooklyn and was musical director of The Turntable, a nightclub
owned by Lloyd Price.
- Member of the cooperative group "Artistry in Music"
with Hank Mobley, Cedar Walton, Sam Jones and Billy Higgins; was
the co-leader and composer/ arranger for the Baritone Saxophone
Retinue, a group featuring six baritone saxophones; made European
tours of major jazz festivals and concerts with the Clark Terry
Orchestra; and toured the USA with Duke Ellington's Orchestra
under the direction of Mercer Ellington. Musical director of the
Home of the Id nightclub, presenting such artists as Gene Ammons,
Randy Weston, Max Roach; as well as producer of Monday Night Boat
Ride Up The Hudson presenting, among others, Art Blakey, George
Benson, and Etta Jones. Made TV appearances with Archie Shepp,
Lucky Thompson, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dec.
'S -- Performed and recorded with the Philly Joe Jones Quartet,
"Dameronia" and with Abdullah Ibrahim's "Ekaya"
in the United States, Europe and Africa. Toured Europe with the
"Savoy Seven Plus 1: A Salute to Benny Goodman." With
his own quartet, performed in Rome; at the Bologna Jazz Festival,
Jazz in Sardinia Festival, and the La Spezia Festival. Was the
musical director of the Syncopation nightclub. Performed in the
movie, "The Man with Perfect Timing" with Abdullah Ibrahim.
In 1984 he was named a "BMI Jazz Pioneer".
-- Musical librarian for Spike Lee's "Mo Better Blues ":
performed at the Jamaica Jazz Festival with Dizzy Reece and returned
to perform with Roy Burrowes; was in the Apollo Hall of Fame Band
accompanying such stars as Ray Charles, Joe Williams, Nancy Wilson,
among others. Toured Holland saluting the music of Kenny Dorham;
was the guest artist at the 12th. Annual North Carolina Jazz Festival
at Duke University, Featured soloist of the Barry Harris Jazz
Ensemble and performs in clubs with the Barry Harris/ Charles
Davis Quartet. Recorded and toured Europe and Japan with the Clifford
Jordan Big Band. Is the tenor saxophonist and a major contributor
of musical arrangements with Larry Ridley's "Jazz Legacy
Ensemble " which appeared at the Senegal Jazz Festival, performs
concerts and conducts clinics, seminars and master classes. This
ensemble also appears in an ongoing concert series at the famed
Schoenberg Center for Research in Black Culture. Was a featured
artist at the Amman, Jordan Jazz Festival, arranged by the American
Embassy. Was also the featured artist in clubs and concerts in
Paris, Toulouse and Hamburg. Appeared at the Williamstown Theatre
Festival in an original production of Eduardo Machado's "Stevie
Wants to Play the Blues, "directed by Jim Simpson. Performed
in the Three Baritone Saxophone Band with Ronnie Cuber and Gary
Smulyan which toured Italy, appeared at the New Orleans Jazz Festival,
the 7998 JVC Jazz &. Image Festival at Villa Celimontana in
Rome, and Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London. Charles was also
a featured soloist at the 1998 Chicago Jazz Festival. In June
1999, he performed with Aaron Bell and the Duke Ellington Tribute
Orchestra at the Jackie Robinson "Afternoon of Jazz"
Festival in Norwalk, CT. Featured artist at the T999.
- Featured artist in Rome at "Mississippi Jazz Club"
and at the year 2000 Jazz & Image Festival at Villa Celimontana.
Also a featured artist at the "Blue Note" in Beirut.
Performed with his quartet on the "M.S. Dynasty," a
Carnival Lines cruise ship. Several appearances with the Charles
Davis/ Barry Harris Quintet at "Sweet Basil" in New
York City and at "Birdland." Performed for President
Bill Clinton at the "Harlem Welcomes Clinton" celebration.
Featured artist at 14th. Annual Jazz Festival in Badajoz, Spain.
In 2003, performed with his quartet in Barcelona, Spain and in
Salerno and Ferraro, Italy. Also performed with the Charles Davis
Trio in San Giovanni, Italy. Also continues to perform in the
bands of Roni Ben-Hur, Walter Booker and ELMOllenium (which features
the music of Elmo Hope) and with the "Jazz Legacy Ensemble,"
with Barry Harris and with his own quartet.
is a saxophone instructor of private students from The New School,
a teacher at the Lucy Moses School and for over 20 years has been
an instructor at the Jazzmobile Workshops. He has made four of
his own albums and is featured on over 100 recordings.
latest CD, "Blue Gardenia." with Cedar Walton on piano.
Peter Washington on bass and Joe Farnsworth on drums has recently
been released in Reade Stret Records.