Charlie Christenson (vocalist, pianist, songwriter and educator), received his Bachelors of Music in Education from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, and his Masters of Music in Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. In 2005, while still at LU, Christenson was recognized by DOWNBEAT Magazine as the Outstanding College Jazz Vocalist. After graduate school, he went on to work and teach at MSM in the Young People’s Division. During this time he also had the opportunity to perform with such greats as the New York Voices, Kurt Elling, and Eliane Elias and up-and-comers Fabian Almazan (Terrance Blanchard), Linda Oh (Dave Douglas / Herbie Hancock) and Roy Assaf (Dizzy Gillespie Big Band) in many venues including the Corniela St. Cafe, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the world-famous Birdland.
He later relocated to Southern California, where Christenson focused on songwriting and teaching, both privately and for Apple Inc. Not long after, he was offered the opportunity to become the Head of the Voice Department at one of the leading contemporary music institutions, the McNally Smith College of Music, in Saint Paul, MN, where he currently resides.
Christenson has studied privately with Peter Eldridge (New York Voices), Theo Bleckmann (Meredith Monk), Kate McGarry, Fred Sturm, John Harmon, Matt Turner, Mark Soskin and Christine Salerno.
This Fall, Charlie and his trio (where he writes, sings and plays keyboard) released their first EP, entitled Shipwreckee, on New York based, Biophilia Records. He is an active songwriter, performer, clinician and academic leader at the national level, and locally in the Twin Cities area.
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