Famed Trinidad and Tobago trumpeter Etienne Charles formed his quartet, Traces, out of a 2019 French American Jazz Exchange grant.
It was well reported on and allowed him to write music for a group featuring French cellist and bassist Vincent Segal, Venezuelan cuatro player Jorge Glem and Israeli bassist Or Bareket.
On April 15 and 16 the quartet will perform two concerts, Etienne Charles and Friends, at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s and Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA), San Fernando respectively.
Etienne Charles and Traces iare on tour and performed at Faena Theatre, Miami Beach, Florida, in the Faena Jazz Series Concert on April 12.
The concert series said of Charles, “A Guggenheim Fellow, in 2022 he received a commission to compose and perform his composition San Juan Hill with the New York Philharmonic for the opening of New York’s Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall. A recent addition to the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, Charles brings his special project, Traces, to our series.”
Charles said in a WhatsApp conversation that the quartet’s music is acoustic and they play “grooves from around the Caribbean, around South America and around North Africa.”
The jazz band’s new album, also called Traces, will be on sale at the concerts.
It is going to be his first time performing in San Fernando with the band and this is special to him.
“I have strong roots in San Fernando. My mother, aunts and uncles were raised in San Fernando. I spent every August holiday there, growing up as a child in TT.
“My grandparents lived there, in Mon Repos. I have deep roots in San Fernando so I am really looking forward to bringing this group specifically to TT. Not just in Port of Spain, where I normally play, but in San Fernando.”
Charles said the audience could look forward to high-quality, high-energy music.
The shows will also feature singer Charmaine Forde, pannist Dane Gulston, Johanna “D Piano Girl Johanna” Chuckaree and guitarist Clifford Charles.
Charles has a very strong presence on TT’s musical landscape.
For this Carnival, his band Etienne Charles’ Riddim Brass and Mas was on the road with its Revival presentation.
“In musical years, Etienne Charles, now approaching 40, is a baby but his musical acumen and achievements belie his age. A real 'town boy,' Charles was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, but has acquired international acclaim as one of the best trumpeters on the planet.
"Charles' career, besides winning multiple awards, has also seen him perform with some of the most acclaimed jazz icons in the world, including Roberta Flack, Marcus Miller, Monty Alexander and Count Basie Orchestra,” a press release about the show said.
The Queen’s Hall show starts at 7 pm and the SAPA show at 6 pm.