Charles Owens
Lecturer, Global Jazz Studies

Director, Jazz Combo

Charles Owens is a master woodwind musician who maintains professional proficiency on tenor, alto, soprano and baritone saxophones, clarinet, flute, oboe, bassoon and English horn. His skilled musicianship and rare ability to produce original sounds on all of these instruments places him in demand as a first-call studio musician, a popular nightclub/concert performer, and a jazz artist of international repute.

Owens has toured, performed and recorded with an impressive array of artists including Lorenz Alexander, Bobby Bryant, Terry Callier, John Carter, the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, Miles Davis, Marvin Gaye, Dave Grusin, Eddie Harris, Gladys Knight, James Newton, the Buddy Rich Band, and Barbra Streisand. He has played on numerous hit records including the Grammy Award winning Ellington album, Hot and Bothered, featuring his baritone solo on “Sophisticated Lady.” Owens also tours the United States and Europe with his own group, which produced two albums on Discovery Records.

Throughout his career Owens has maintained a dedicated commitment to education. If asked what he likes most about being a musician, he immediately replies, “Teaching!… Sharing techniques and experiences with young players expedites their careers and assures that jazz will endure.” In addition to private teaching, Owens, James Newton, Red Callender and John Carter co-founded the successful Wind College in 1981. For the past four years the Los Angeles Jazz Society “Jazz in Schools” Program has employed Owens as leader of an entertaining group of musicians who present free interactive jazz concerts in Los Angeles elementary schools. These concerts are designed to stimulate jazz awareness and create a future audience.

Explore Other Degrees

Graduate study and training in choral, orchestral, or wind conducting
The study of global musical traditions through performance training, research, and field work
Global Jazz Studies
Jazz performance and musicianship courses are paired with African American Studies
Music Composition
Mentorship in the creation and realization of music for concerts, opera, and visual media
Music Education
Preparation for music educators leading to a B.A. and teaching credential in just four years
Music History & Industry
Combining Musicology and the Music Industry minor for practical hands-on training with the study of music within the context of different societies, cultures, and theories
Music Industry
Industry professionals and UCLA faculty prepare students for music-related careers
The scholarly study of the histories, cultures, and critical interpretations of music and music-making
Music Performance
Study and training towards professional performance careers in Western classical music
Music Performance Jazz
A highly selective M.M. program in partnership with the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz