Clarinetist, saxophonist, and flutist Charlie Gabriel is a fourth generation jazz musician from New Orleans. Raised in a large, classically trained musical family that emigrated from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to New Orleans, Louisiana in the 1850s, Gabriel began playing clarinet professionally with the Eureka Brass Band when he was 11 years old. During World War II, his father, clarinetist and drummer Martin “Manny” Gabriel often sent his son as a substitute on gigs. Charlie recalls how the musicians with whom he played —T-Boy Remy, Kid Humphrey, Kid Sheik, Kid Shots, Kid Clayton, and Kid Howard— also raised him and brought him home after the gigs. Charlie thus worked in and around many of the most famous venues on Bourbon Street and around the French Quarter.
Charlie came to Detroit, Michigan at the age of 14 when his family migrated north for the prosperity of automotive jobs during the industrial rush of the 1940s . He was so experienced musically by then that he was asked to join the Lionel Hampton band at age 16. At the height of his young career, a 20-something Charlie led the hard-bop movement in Detroit throughout the 1950s with a trumpet phenom who would soon become his best friend, Marcus Belgrave. This era would serve as the precursor to the Motown sound in the 1960s, Charlie and Marcus finding themselves playing in Aretha Franklin’s orchestra, among many other prestigious bands.
Around 2010, just about the time he may have been thinking about retirement, the historic Preservation Hall in New Orleans offered Charlie the opportunity to return to New Orleans after building a life in Detroit for over 60 years. By 2013, Charlie had fully relocated back to New Orleans, was playing full time at Preservation Hall and touring globally with the renowned Preservation Hall Jazz Band. And while not necessarily full time any longer, at 91 years young, this is where one can find Charlie on an average week today.
Charlie's recordings span the range from the earliest traditional jazz to modern straight ahead, and his own contemporary and spiritual compositions. In 2021, at age 89, he released only his second full LP as bandleader, aptly entitled “89”on SubPop Records, and has a forthcoming album of previously unreleased original compositions, due out in 2023.
Tonight, Charlie plays with the Larry Sieberth Trio, featuring: Charlie Gabriel - saxophone Lawrence Sieberth - piano Amina Scott - bass Johnny Vidacovich - drums
Shows at 7:30pm & 9:30pm Doors at 7:00pm & 9:00pm
Restaurant is open 5pm - 11pm for dinner before or after your showtime:
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Kind Reminder: Snug Harbor does NOT serve food inside the Music Room. Only cocktails and soft drinks are available for table service inside the Listening Room.