Pianist Charlie Austin has influenced an entire generation of western Canadian jazz musicians. As a performer, Charlie’s versatility and musicianship have seen him establish a solid career for the past four decades, playing in a wide range of settings from festivals, clubs, concerts and theatres as well as recording and television studios. He’s appeared with a diversity of stars such as Mel Torme, Henry Mancini, Connie Stevens and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra to name a few. Charlie occasionally plays for visiting jazz vocal artists at the Yardbird Suite, including Trudy Desmond, Jeri Brown, and Flora Ware amongst others.
The now-retired full-time professor taught at Grant MacEwan College’s Music Program for over 30 years, where he inspired many students who’ve gone on to become leaders on the scene today. He continues to encourage aspiring musicians during his frequent appearances at local jam sessions.
A published author, Charlie has released 450 Contemporary Piano Studies in 15 Keys (2000), followed by An Approach to Jazz Piano (Volume 1), resource books for music students, Reviewers have praised the books for their well-written, well-informed approach to music instruction. An Approach to Jazz Piano (Volume 1) has also become a popular handbook for professional jazz musicians.
“Charlie is a most accomplished musician, his playing is at once strong and deeply sensitive, he has a beautiful sense of time, and his influences speak to me of Bill Evans and George Shearing, with a little Fats Waller tossed in. He is equally at home ‘stepping out’, developing modal concepts and painting an aural depth that describes space and sound in an ethereal manner.”
-- Cindy McLeod, www.jazzelements.com