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 Teddy Charles

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Teddy Charles

  • Birth 13 Apr 1928 Chicopee, Hampden County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Death 16 Apr 2012 Riverhead, Suffolk County, New York, USA
  • Burial Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown
  • Memorial ID 89089492

Jazz Musician, Composer, Bandleader. A vibraphonist, he was associated with some of the greatest names of the jazz genre, among them Charlie Mingus, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. Born Theodore Charles Cohen, he was raised in New York and at an early age learned the piano from his older brother, prior to enrolling at the Juilliard Music School, where he studied the percussion. He acquired performance experience in improvised jam sessions while hanging out on street corners with several neighborhood friends including Stan Getz. He changed his choice of instruments, when switching to the vibes and applied his skills taught to him from the piano to create his unique innovative style. He also dropped his last name in order to avoid ethnic profiling being that he was Jewish. His break came when he accompanied Coleman Hawkins and later he had the distinction of being an early member of Charles Mingus' Jazz Workshop. The 1950s, saw him lend his talents to many recordings including Miles Davis' "Blue Mood" (1955) and Charles himself would yield several albums beginning with "The Teddy Charles Tentet" (1956). By the early 1960s and over the next two decades, Charles left the music world behind to fulfill his passion of sailing. During the 1980s, he had resumed performing and saw his career come full-circle, as he returned to his origins with the piano. By the end of that decade, he ended his music career and founded a boat charter business. He died from heart failure.

Bio by: C.S.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: C.S.
  • Added: 24 Apr 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 89089492
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Teddy Charles (13 Apr 1928–16 Apr 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 89089492, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown.