I chose to interview Mr. Clifford Charles because he is an inspiration and a mentor to me and many other up and coming musicians. Mr. Charles is an ace guitarist in all genres of music, but his forte is in the Jazz genre. He possesses a musical charm and charisma which allows him to mesmerize his audiences, not by uttering verbal words, but by letting the smooth, sultry sound of the Jazz rhythms from his guitar take you on a musical journey. BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Clifford Charles was raised in Caroni Savannah Road, New Settlement, Chaguanas. It was at the tender age of 8 that his parents recognized his talent, but they were not able to pay for his music tuition. It was during his time as a secondary school student that Charles was taken under the wings of his teachers Orasio Lewis and Ken Archer and so, he began his musical journey on the guitar. At the age of 18, he joined the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Band where he served as both a clarinetist and a guitarist for 13 years. Although he played the clarinet, he was influenced by senior band members; Keith Christmas and Jeffrey Smith to return to his roots on the guitar. He served as the guitarist in popular soca bands like Traffik and Atlantic and was part of the Calypso Revenue Tent band from 1994 – 1997, where he played alongside legendary calypsonians Lord Kitchener and Winston “De Fosto” Scarborough. He pursued a Certificate in Pan at the University of the West Indies from 1998 – 2000, and then in 2003 he went on to attain an honours degree in Musical Arts at the same university. In 2005, he formed his own band, the main purpose for this was for his arrangement and compositions to have a voice and be heard. The band comprises of keyboardist Derek Cardogan, bassist Shaun Friday and drummer David Richards with Jerome Charles filling the gap while Richards completes his study abroad. He says that it is important that musicians aspire to be developed in both the theory and practical aspect...
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