Charlie Jennison

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New Hampshire-based multi-instrumentalist Charlie Jennison began his jazz career in 1961 playing at rotary clubs and at other local functions while still in junior high school. Moving to New Hampshire…
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New Hampshire-based multi-instrumentalist Charlie Jennison began his jazz career in 1961 playing at rotary clubs and at other local functions 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 1961 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 in his career 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. He has also shared the stage or has been in the recording studio 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 backing vocalists Kathleen Kolman and Leila Percy, as well as with the New Age music group Do'ah and trumpet player Clark Terry. In 1999, Jennison released his first album for Maine's Invisible Music label titled Iridescence, which features Jennison's tenor and soprano saxophone skills. In a quartet format, the album's play list is comprised of ten Jennison originals, which run the tempo gamut from ballads to faster paced material. In addition to recording projects and performing in local venues, Jennison currently holds the position of instructor of saxophone at New Hampshire's Phillip Exeter Academy.