Born: August 1 Primary Instrument: Drums
A child prodigy, Charlie Harrington has played drums since the age of 5 and has performed professionally since the age of 15. He studied with and became the protege of jazz drumming legend Ray Bauduc. Charlie later studied with classical percussionist Tim Tull.
In addition to leading his own band, Charlie Harrington and the Jazz Express, he has shared the stage with such luminaries as Woody Herman, Freddie Green, Stan Mark, Kirk Whalum, Larry Coryell, Kurt Elling, John Scofield, Barbra Streisand, Dave Brubeck, Richie Cole, Tony Bennett, Ira Sullivan, Carly Simon, Ari Brown, Junko Onishi, and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson. His blues playing credits include sharing the stage with Joe Guitar Hughes and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
An inventive, highly skilled, and versatile performer, Charlie is comfortable in everything from trio and small group settings to big band ensembles. He's known for sophisticated rhythms,distinctive accompaniment, and powerful solos.
He's the real deal... Ray Bauduc
Swing!... Freddie Green
Reminds me of a young Davey Tough... Woody Herman
Great sense of rhythm and phrasing... Ed Shaughnessy
A jazz master and a real treasure who should not be missed. Time Out New York
...based out of Chicago he's worth seeing whenever he ventures to town. Be ready to experience brilliance and artistry on a level not often heard these days. Brooklyn Free Press
If avante-garde or experimental jazz is what you seek he's not what you're looking for. If you want toe tapping, finger snapping, head bobbing lively music that swings he delivers it with passion, conviction, and without remorse. Philadelphia Bulletin
...fantastic all around musician that propels his kit and the group into new realms of taste and groove. He's a hard- driving straight ahead no nonsense performer that truly makes the music come alive. Detroit Free Press
Watching him perform was an unforgettable experience. He is animated and a bundle of energy: a syncopated Zen master. The group was brighter and more interesting due to his driving rhythmic pulse. Houston Gazette
Mr. Harrington's musicianship will remind you of the technical prowess and showmanship of the big band drummers of yore, infused with humility and class. His natural flow of playing has essential qualities, including a balance of rigor and elasticity. Chicago Standard
...his inimitable antagonistic percussive prodding, coupled with a dazzling display of virtuosic improvisational madness, was breathtaking. San Mateo Daily News
His knowledge of all things jazz drums - from Baby Dodds to Ed Thigpen and beyond - makes him an enthralling performer, and like Louie Bellson he performs just as well in a big band or small group. His genius is comparable to Jake Hanna. Chicago RedEye
Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
Charlie continues to impart his knowledge to drummers everywhere. He is a member of the Professional Drum Teachers Guild, the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), and the National Association of Rudimental Drummers (NARD). He is also a member of the Vic Firth Inc., Education Team as well as the Jazz Education Network (JEN).
In addition to his time studying with jazz drumming legend Ray Bauduc, he has taken master classes with Ed Soph, Louie Bellson, Jack DeJohnette, Donny Osborne, Johnny Rabb, Clayton Cameron, Butch Miles, Steve Smith, Joe Morello, Jeff Hamilton, Bill Stewart, Steve Gadd, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Peter Erskine, and Ed Shaughnessy. His lessons are guaranteed to accompany a healthy dose of wisdom as passed on to him by these giants of the drumming world.
Private instruction, clinics, and master classes are available by appointment only. Charlie teaches well-established and contemporary drumming techniques. He accepts a limited number of private students in the Chicago area.
Charlie's clinic typically begins by covering equipment selection and set up and is then followed by a discussion on warm up exercises, stick grip, how to develop technique, a signature sound, and practice tips. Phrasing and subdividing are also covered. A short history of American Jazz drumming is touched on throughout the clinic.