Charles Brooks, DMA is a professional jazz vibraphonist, percussionist, hand drummer, pianist, clinician, composer, and educator in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is Louisiana's only four-mallet vibraphonist actively performing across multiple genres while continuing to teach and mentor budding musicians. Additionally he is a 2015, a 2017, and a 2018 Grammy-nominated educator, and in 2017 he was recognized by international audio component giant K&K Sound as he was named a K&K Sound Company Artist of the Month. In addition to teaching, composing, performing, and recording original music, Brooks has just finished writing two educational instruction manuals for the drum set and the vibraphone is working to secure publishing. In January 2018, he released his first full-length solo percussion album, EMPTY HAND, which he alone composed, performed, recorded, and mastered. You can read more about and sample EMPTY HAND in /music. Brooks's next full-length solo album will be a vibraphone album, which he hopes to release early 2019.
CHARLES BROOKS, THE PROFESSOR & MENTOR
By day Brooks molds and mentors today’s eager young minds as Head of Audio Engineering within the Entertainment Technologies division at Baton Rouge Community College, where he runs a state-of-the-art recording studio recently hailed in the media as “... the best college entertainment program and audio department within 800 miles of Baton Rouge” (Whitney Vann, WBRZ Channel 2 Louisiana). He has designed his program so that the focus lies first and foremost on mentoring students while teaching and preparing them with the skills necessary to understand how to seek out, recognize, and be fully prepared for professional opportunities in live sound and in studio recording. And, Brooks is proud to announce that beginning in Fall 2017, he will be offering a Music Business course and a Songwriting course as part of his curriculum, in addition to his regular recording and theory classes. He further mentors audio and music students in the art of performance by creating and sponsoring the school's very first Recording Studio Ensemble, who made their public debut in the fall of 2016 with a musical jazz performance to celebrate BRCC's arts building grand re-opening. The Ensemble also will be performing as part of BRCC's annual Arts Fest, which happens each spring, as well as other public community events deemed educational. Additionally Dr. Brooks is also the founder and host of Baton Rouge's annual Mid City Jazz Festival, which is a festival open to all middle school, high school, and independent music school jazz ensembles, and features jazz industry celebrities and professionals (like 2016's Trumpeter of the Year, Mr. Leroy Jones) as judges and mentors, who also present the public with a free jazz concert in accompaniment with Dr. Brooks to wrap up the festival. More information about the MCJF can be found here: /mcjf.
CHARLES BROOKS, THE MUSICIAN
By night Brooks entertains and captivates audiences with his wildly innovative four-mallet vibraphone playing, performing regularly for both public and private events in the Greater Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas, as well as surrounding parishes and states, having most recently spent time in Washington D.C. providing Mardi Gras entertainment. Known for his improvisational talents and personalized high-energy performances, he currently plays the vibraphone as lead of his jazz groups The Charles Brooks Trio and The Charles Brooks Quartet, as well as in his explosive jazz-fusion group The Charles Brooks Collective, which is Baton Rouge's newest experimental group with roots grounded in improvisatory fusion and electric jazz techniques. You can read more about them and groove on their style by clicking here on THE CBC. Brooks also plays the jazz vibraphone publicly and privately as a solo artist, as part of Michael Foster presents Red Beans & Rice Mondays at The Belle of Baton Rouge Casino in the Beauregard Room, as part of the John Gray Jazz Trio, and as part of the Michael Foster Trio. He also sits in as a featured guest hand drummer, set drummer, or vibraphonist with various other groups in Baton Rouge, like funk masters The Michael Foster Project and jazz noise masters Captain Green.
Brooks's solo albums EMPTY HAND, MERRY EFFIN CHRISTMAS, and 2015 FACULTY JAZZ PROJECT are available for a listen here on the website and all feature Brooks playing each instrument, as well as recording and mastering each album. Those albums, as well as earlier Charles Brooks, DMA originals and classical interpretations during his master's and doctoral recitals, are available for purchase and download in the MUSIC section of this website. You can also find videos of The Collective performances and The Jazz Trio performances, as well as solo performances.
Additionally Brooks also is featured on the following other albums: on drum set as part of Vinyl Soup's album "Brandon and Travis," available on iTunes; on vibraphone with John Gray on the album "Thursdays at M's," available through Continuum Music; on vibraphone with Ernest Jackson on his "Moments Reflected" album, available through Continuum Music; and on hand drums with Captain Green on their "Protect Each Other Together" album, available through CaptainGreenMusic.com.
Charles Brooks, DMA is available for solo entertainment or to bring in trio/quartet/collective entertainment for listening room experiences, concerts, special events of any kind, birthdays, weddings, brunches, dinner parties, business/restaurant grand openings, festivals, rehearsals, community celebrations, public events, corporate events, corporate parties, fundraisers, graduations, showcases, educational clinics, conferences, political parties, community balls, etc., as well as seasonal music to benefit celebratory holidays like Mardi Gras, Easter, Christmas, New Year's, Memorial Day, etc. He and any of his groups can be booked through his manager Keeley Brooks with Sur Le Point Productions at SurLePointProductions@gmail.com or by sending an email to TheCharlesBrooks@gmail.com.
EDUCATION & QUALIFICATIONS
Dr. Charles Brooks is a featured guest musician on the vibraphone and the drum set with The Michael Foster Project, and he is a nationally featured jazz performer at Louisiana State University, Belmont University, University of Minnesota-Duluth, Austin Peay State University, University of Louisville, Western Kentucky University, the Mid City Jazz Festival, and the Duluth Jazz Festival. He is also a 2015, 2017, and 2018 Grammy-nominated educator. Dr. Brooks is also Founder and Host of the annual Mid City Jazz Festival, which is a youth festival open to all middle and high school jazz ensembles throughout the state of Louisiana – including all independent music school ensembles. The jazz festival’s purpose is presenting these developing music ensembles with the unique opportunity to perform in front of professional jazz musicians and educators in a friendly yet competitive environment. The festival wraps up with a special concert given by Dr. Brooks, accompanied by the festival judges.
Brooks holds a Doctorate in Musical Arts with a Composition minor from Louisiana State University. He studied Composition under Dr. Dinos Constantinides (LSU) and Dr. Jeffrey Wood (Austin Peay), and his extensive study of Jazz and Percussion Performance took place under the instruction of Dr. Christopher Norton (Belmont), Mr. David Steinquest (Austin Peay), Dr. Michael Kingan (Indiana Univ. of Percussion), and Dr. Willis Delony (LSU). He was further mentored by Dr. Thomas King (Austin Peay) and graduated the Berklee School of Music Summer Jazz Series. He has over 25 years’ experience in performance, composition, and education, and over a decade’s experience recording live shows. He is a classically trained percussionist, an accomplished jazz musician, and both a public and private instructor and consultant proficient in orchestral performance, jazz studies and performance, percussion studies and performance, and audio engineering.