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Etienne Charles' Creole Soul

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Friday February 03, 2017

From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Music preview: Etienne Charles brings ‘Creole Soul’ to MCG
By: Rick Nowlin

Trinidad-born trumpeter Etienne Charles performs at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild on Saturday, bringing “Creole Soul,” which incorporates and synthesizes the sounds of New Orleans and the Caribbean.

Mr. Charles began playing when he received a trumpet from his uncle at age 10.

“There was very little jazz that was heard at that time [in Trinidad],” he says, so in addition to the steel bands that populated his native country, he gravitated to such Motown artists as Stevie Wonder and Lionel Richie — “whatever was popular in the world in the 1980s.”

The first jazz album that caught his attention was pianist Monty Alexander’s 1996 “Yard Movement,” which incorporated a lot of reggae from Mr. Alexander’s native Jamaica. Later he embraced Chuck Mangione and Wynton Marsalis. “I was going to what I was being drawn to and began to work it into my sound,” he says.

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