Charlie Jennison Bio
Saxophonist, Pianist, Multi-Instrumentalist
Charlie Jennison is a talented New Hampshire-based musician. Charlie Jennison began his jazz career in 1961 playing while still in junior high school. Moving to New Hampshire from Florida, he formed a jazz combo at the University of New Hampshire from which he graduated in 1969 with a degree in Music Education. Jennison has studied with such major jazz figures as Jerry Bergonzi and Charlie Mariano. The defining moment in Jennison’s career came early when he met pianist Tom Gallant, a teacher at the Berklee School of Music and an alumnus of Woody Herman’s band. Jennison played with Gallant for more than 30 years until his passing in 1998.
Charlie has also shared the stage or has recorded with such notable jazz musicians as Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy DeFranco, Alan Dawson, and Marshal Royal. He recalls Gillespie confirming that it was really Jonah Jones, not him, who threw the infamous spitball at Cab Calloway, which led to Gillespie’s tumultuous dismissal from Calloway’s band.
Jennison has also been on several albums including with vocalists Kathleen Kolman and Leila Percy, Jazz trumpet legend, Clark Terry, as well as with the World Fusion music groups, Do’a World Music Ensemble, Unu Mondo and Beyond Borders. In 1999, Jennison released his first album for Maine’s Invisible Music label titled Iridescence, which features Jennison’s tenor and soprano saxophone. In a quartet format, the album’s play list is comprised of ten Jennison originals, which run the tempo gamut from ballads to upbeat jazz originals. In addition to recording projects, Jennison currently holds the position of instructor of saxophone and jazz piano at Phillip Exeter Academy in New Hampshire . Charlie Jennison is a featured performer with Do’a World Music Ensemble on the albums, Companions and World Dance and on the UNU MONDO album release, Hand In Hand. His sublime performance on the song, There’s Always Hope is a highlight on the album, Beyond Borders produced by Randy Armstrong & Volker Nahrmann.