Charlie began playing clarinet at 8 years old, and guitar at age 10. He started playing jazz guitar at age 18. Charlie believes that music study is a life-long pursuit and that music education provides the seeds for developing instrumental skills and creativity. The individual musician and his/her outside musical influences determine the overall artist's contribution. He was blessed to have Billie Holiday's former pianist, Carlton Drinkard, as a mentor in college while becoming a member of the college's jazz workshop. Carlton introduced him to Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and I was asked to sit in at their performance at Stockton State College, Pomona, New Jersey back in 1977. Although Charlie's professional career was not in the music industry, he never stopped playing.