On the evening of Sunday, November 12 at the Jake Cloobeck '16 Theater in the Visual and Performing Arts Center, Forman School's ongoing creative arts performance series featured jazz musician Etienne Charles and Creole Soul. The Trinidadian trumpet player led his band through a rousing set of music that delighted all in attendance.
An associate professor of Jazz Trumpet at Michigan State University, Charles is also an accomplished composer, arranger, and recording artist. His band consists of Charles on trumpet and congas, and bandmates on alto saxophone, keyboards, guitar, bass, and drums. The band also led an informative and engaging master class for students earlier in the day.
The evening's music started out with an original composition by Charles entitled "Douens," a rumination on a possible other self we all have, one that just might be evil. Next up was a selection from Charles' "San Jose Suite," a piece based on cities named San Jose in Costa Rica, Trinidad, and California. After a smooth transition by the drummer, the band played the Duke Ellington classic "Caravan" which featured a stirring guitar solo that got the crowd going.
Another highlight was Charles' take on Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from The Nutcracker. In his introduction, Charles said "Our sugar plum fairy is from the islands. She dances with her hips and not on her tippy-toes."