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Friday April 06, 2018

From Roanoke Times

Etienne Charles brings Creole take on jazz to Jefferson Center on Saturday
By: Tad Dickens

[…] These days, Charles is the one who hopes to provide a culture shock.

“One, it’s different cultures that come together, and two, every time we play in front of a new audience, it’s kind of an introduction to different cultures, because we don’t just play the usual canon of jazz, with respect to the American songbook,” Charles said. “We play music influenced by Martiniquan folk music. We play music influenced by Moroccan Gnawa. We play music influenced heavily by the blues, calypso, reggae. So at times it becomes a sort of a culture shock for our audience, as well, which is sort of our goal.”

In a way, he is introducing jazz roots to jazz audiences. Creole is jazz, Charles says.

“A lot of people say that jazz is American music. As much as it is American, it is Caribbean, as well, in a sense …. as well as African,” he said. “That’s why I like to say jazz is creole music, because ‘creole’ means ‘born in a new world.’”

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