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Charles Blenzig is a pianist, composer, arranger, and percussionist who slips effortlessly among musical styles while retaining his own distinct sound. Born in the Bronx, raised in Pelham, and now residing in Queens, he has been a part of the New York City jazz scene for over 20 years.
The first real visible gig for Charles was as a member of the Gil Evans Orchestra that had a steady Monday night engagement at Sweet Basil Jazz Club in New York. He was fortunate to play with such musicians as George Adams, Hiram Bullock, Mark Eagan, Gil Goldstein and Lou Soloff.
In 1990 he was offered the position of musical director for singer/songwriter Michael Franks, a position which he still holds. Working with Mr. Franks has led to performances and television appearances throughout the world including Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Africa and Russia. Most recently, Charles produced and arranged Michael's recording Watching the Snow as well as co-writing the title track to Michael's CD entitled Barefoot on the Beach.
During the mid 1990's the keyboardist performed regularly with several groups including Bill Evans and Kenwood Denard. Both stints led to recordings: Bill Evans and Push Live in Europe and Kenwood's Just Advance which featured bass virtuoso Marcus Miller. Over the years Charles has worked with many accomplished musicians and groups including Larry Coryell, Michael Urbaniak, Michael Brecker, Gato Barbieri, Joe Beck, The Mingus Big Band, Joe Locke, Eddie Gomez, Randy Brecker, Toninio Horta, Grady Tate, Buster Williams, Roy Ayers and John Patituchi.
The pianist also hosted The Late Night Session at the Blue Note Jazz Club in Manhattan. It was a steady gig for five years which made him a recognizable face in the jazz community as well as introducing him to scores of both seasoned and up and coming musicians from around the globe.
Along with touring, recording and producing, Charles is also a respected teacher currently on faculty at the S.U.N.Y. Purchase Conservatory located in Westchester County, New York. The Jazz Department, headed by Todd Coolman, boasts one of the finest faculties in the New York City area including John Faddis, Steve Wilson, John Abercrombie, Hal Galper and Dennis Erwin.
Charles has been a guest artist on over 50 recordings and has four CDs as a leader. The first, a self-titled debut featuring Will Lee and Mike Stern, the second Say What You Mean, produced by Will Lee and joined by Michael Brecker, Dennis Chambers and Manolo Badrena. The third is a piano trio recording entitled Certain Standards with Kenny Davis and Gene Jackson. And the latest release, It's About Time for Double Time Records, features Tim Hagens, Greg Tarty, Marcus Strickland, and Sean Conly.