Charles Unger

Instrument: Saxophone | Location: San Francisco

Updated: March 22, 2019

A major force in the music scene of the San Francisco Bay area for the last 40 years, saxophonist Charles Unger is a musical institution. He is known for his exuberant style and talent, and for a stage show that is unforgettable.

A regular performer at various San Francisco clubs, Charles is an innovator in the genres of Jazz, R&B and World Beat. Charles, who plays alto, tenor and soprano saxophones, was deeply influenced by the seminal works of artists such as Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Grover Washington, Kenny Garrett and Lester Young, but has also drawn on a lifetime of experience playing with top level musicians the world over. Charles brings an undeniable sense of joy to his performances, with a smile that welcomes even the most recalcitrant listeners to the party, then proceeds to open up avenues of music that are enjoyable for the uninitiated and the aficionado alike.

In San Francisco, Charles plays every Wednesday and Friday evening at Les Joulins Jazz Bistro (where he has performed for 19 years), leading a jazz band that includes his wife Valencia on vocals on Friday evenings. His band performs first Saturday of each month at the Sheba Lounge. He has also played at Rasselas, Yoshi’s San Francisco, Intercontinental Hotel San Francisco, 57th Street Gallery in Oakland and many other places in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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