Charlie Wood is a singer/songwriter and keyboardist whose eclectic musical style incorporates elements of jazz, blues, traditional r&b and popular music. Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Wood’s early musical development was steeped in the blues and R&B music of his hometown. At seventeen, he headed down to New Orleans, spending several years soaking up the exotic piano traditions and lush lifestyle of the Big Easy.
Charlie’s early twenties found him on the road as keyboard player for legendary blues guitarist Albert King, with whom he toured the US and Europe. Returning to his hometown, Wood soon established a long-standing residency at King’s Palace on Memphis’ historic Beale Street, performing nightly with his Hammond organ trio for many years. The gig became known to touring musicians and locals alike, attracting impromptu sit-ins from B.B. King, Georgie Fame, Joey DeFrancesco, George Coleman, Mulgrew Miller, Alvin Batiste, and many others.
In October 2014, Wood became the 136th recipient of a Brass Note on Beale Street, the Memphis equivalent of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Previous recipients include such musical luminaries as Al Green and Isaac Hayes
Wood is an accomplished and prolific singer/songwriter and has received stellar reviews for his original releases, including “Southbound” and “Who I Am” on Ben Sidran’s GoJazz label and “Flutter and Wow” on Memphis-based Archer Records. His original song “Promised Land” won first prize in the 2015 U.S.A. Songwriting Competition (jazz category). Another original composition, “Never Gonna Stop New Orleans”, was recorded by soul great Irma Thomas and included in Harry Shearer’s documentary film, “The Big Uneasy.”
Wood is also becoming recognised as a talented and original arranger, with recent scores performed by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Liverpool Philharmonic, the Brodsky Quartet, the Royal Marine Band, the Back To Basie Bigband, and others. He has also recently been made a Professor of the Guildhall School of Music, London, where he teaches voice and improvisation.
Now living in the UK with his wife, renowned jazz vocalist Jacqui Dankworth, Charlie continues touring and recording regularly. Notable appearances have included the London Jazz Festival’s “Jazz Voice” at the Barbican, BBC Radio 2’s “Friday Night Is Music Night” at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Radio 2’s “Jools Holland Show” and numerous other performances throughout the UK and Europe.
Wood’s 2014 solo CD “New Souvenirs” (released on Perdido Records, co-produced by Ms. Dankworth) featured twelve new original Charlie Wood compositions and garnered rave reviews from Jazzwise, R2 Magazine, Jazz Journal, Record Collector, and elsewhere. Jacqui and Charlie’s much anticipated duets album, “Just You, Just Me”, was released on Perdido Records in autumn 2016.
Charlie Wood’s seventh studio album “Tomorrow Night” will be released in 2018 on Perdido Records and has already been playlisted by Jazz FM, with a live in-studio performance scheduled for October. Featuring 12 tracks – some self-penned, others made famous by BB King, Otis Redding, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Al Green – the album is a true return to form from this acclaimed singer/keyboardist, blending a sound steeped in traditional R&B and Blues, leavened with some Jazz influences. The release of “Tomorrow Night” comes four years after his last solo record and is sure to further Charlie Wood’s reputation as a master of his craft.