Etienne Charles

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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, Creole Orchestra.  

As a sideman he has performed with and/or arranged for Roberta Flack, Chucho Valdes, Marcus Roberts, Marcus Miller, Count Basie Orchestra, Frank Foster’s Loud Minority Big Band, Monty Alexander, Gregory Porter, Terri Lyne Carrington, René Marie, Paulette McWilliams and many others.  He has been commissioned as a composer and arranger by Lincoln Center for the New York Philharmonic (2021), Savannah Music Festival (2017), Chamber Music America (2015 & 2021),  the Charleston Jazz Orchestra (2012) and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble (2011).

He currently serves as Associate Professor of Studio Music and Jazz at University of Miami Frost School of Music.

Carlyle Room

1350 I Street, NW Washington, DC 20005

  • (202) 516-5971
  • Garage entrance is on 14th Street. There is an $8 parking fee with validation from Carlyle Room.

Please note: There is a $25 minimum per person in the dining room. You are buying tickets that are not refundable or exchangeable. Please review our additional purchase policies.

There is a $25 minimum food and beverage purchase required in dining room. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.