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.