Etienne Charles brings Orange Is The New Black actress for album premiere

Etienne Charles, internationally acclaimed Jazz trumpeter and 2015 Guggenheim fellow, will be joined on stage by a Netflix star when he stages his album premiere on Nov 20.

Tony Award Nominee, Danielle Brooks, best known as Taystee in the Netflix series Orange is the New Black (OITNB), will be among the cast at Queen’s Hall for the Caribbean premiere of Charles’ San Jose Suite album.

The Juilliard-trained singer/actor will show off her singing chops when she appears alongside Charles in the Christmas segment of the programme.

Brooks earned a Tony nomination in 2015 for her role as Sofia in her Broadway debut in The Colour Purple.

San Jose Suite is Charles’ latest album and his sixth full-length release.

The album takes listeners on a historical journey of three San Jose cities, in Costa Rica, California, and St Joseph in Trinidad, which was known as San Jose during the Spanish colonisation. 

Charles, the Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University, began his research in December of 2014. He traveled to each locale in 2015 and spent time with townspeople, local historians, and storytellers, observing and participating in rituals and jamming with local musicians in the indigenous and African Diaspora communities.

Charles has spent much of 2016 performing the music from the album at events such as Newport Jazz Festival, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the Lincoln Center and, most recently, the Jazz Standard in New York to critical acclaim.

The album has been highly popular with Jazz lovers rising to #2 on the JazzWeek Charts and within the top ten for several weeks.

In June 2016 he was selected by Wynton Marsalis as one of three recipients of the prestigious Jazz at Lincoln Center Millennial Swing Award

Among those joining Charles for his Caribbean premiere will be:

BRIAN HOGANS (alto sax) - USA

SULLIVAN FORTNER (piano) - American Pianists Association Cole Porter Fellow 2015 - USA

ALEX WINTZ (guitar)


JOHN DAVIS (drums) – USA

The second half of the show will feature performances of the music from Charles’ Creole Christmas with special guests, among them:

CLARITA RIVAS (maracas, cuatro) - TT

ENRICO CAMEJO (mandolin) - TT



“I am excited to be bringing my band, Creole Soul, to Queen’s Hall for our Caribbean premiere of San Jose Suite. I am also thrilled, honoured, delighted and humbled to be leading such a stellar cast of performers for our Creole Christmas segment featuring my fellow Juilliard alum Danielle Brooks as well as the brilliant multi-instrumentalists Clarita Rivas, Enrico Camejo, Ernesto Garcia and Stanley Roach. This will surely be a night to remember,” said Charles of his cast.

Etienne Charles San Jose Suite, Live at Queen’s Hall is produced by Monlo Music Ltd.  

Presenting Sponsors are: The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts and Republic Bank Ltd.  

Silver sponsors are: Calabash Foundation for the Arts, Culture Shock Music Inc and HADCO Ltd.

Tickets for the show are $300 and are available at the following outlets:

  • Queen's Hall Box Office, St. Ann's - 624-1284
  • Paper Based Bookshop, Normandie, St. Ann's - 625-3197
  • Cleve's One Stop Music Shop, 58 Frederick Street, P.O.S. - 624-0827
  • Wrapworks Deli, Ariapita Avenue and de Verteuil Street, Woodbrook - 797-9727 
  • Häagen-Dazs, Queen's Park West and Dundonald Street, P.O.S. - 627-5892
  • Häagen-Dazs, The Falls at West Mall - 632-4160
  • Häagen-Dazs, Shops of Trincity, Tissue Dr. and CR Highway - 640-0603
  • Häagen-Dazs, South Park, San Fernando - 786-1357