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Maureen Malloy Suggests: Etienne Charles, CREOLE SOUL


Many people hear the word "Creole" and immediately think of New Orleans. So it's easy to look at bandleader/trumpeter Etienne Charles’ new album, Creole Soul, and assume it's full of traditional jazz or New Orleans-style trumpet.  This is not the case, as Charles’ background (and playing) is actually the true epitome of Creole. With a family lineage consisting of French Caribbean, Spanish, and African roots, Trinidadian born Charles blends all of these influences, along with his music studies, into an album that captures a little piece of everyone, including fans of pop music.

Creole Soul features a power-house band that executes ballads, deep grooves, and jazz arrangements of popular songs in a way that utilizes many different influences, which is very, very Creole.  From Monk’s “Green Chimneys,” to Bob Marley’s “Turn Your Lights Down Low” (which is dominating WRTI's Jazz Hot 11), along with six originals from Charles, the selections on this album renew faith in the possibility of bringing new listeners into the jazz world. 


You don’t need to be a jazz aficionado to relate to this music, even if your favorites are the tunes that are familiar to you.  In each and every piece, you hear Etienne Charles pay homage to his ancestry, his musical predecessors and mentors, and his family.  Luckily for us, it all sounds really good.

Maureen began her radio career at WRTI in 1999 while studying broadcasting at Temple University. Determined to make it in the entertainment industry, she took advantage of all the creative opportunities presented to her at WRTI - she hosted the overnight jazz broadcasts through her entire college career, she was an arts and culture reporter, and she soaked up the jazz biz from her many WRTI mentors.