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Charlotte Keeffe

Trumpet, flugelhorn, piano, voice 

British musician, trumpeter/flugelhorn player Charlotte Keeffe’s passion for free improvisation, jazz and experimental music-making sees her performing regularly as a soloist and leading a variety of different ensembles, including her own Quartet. 

(The) Charlotte Keeffe Quartet (CKQ) performed a sell-out performance at Lancaster Jazz Festival in 2019 and their live recording from Jazz in the Round has been featured on radio shows around the world. Fresh from playing London’s Café OTO, Newcastle, Birmingham, Sheffield and the EFG London Jazz Festival. CKQ are delighted to be continuing their UK tour in 2022, celebrating the release of Charlotte’s debut album, Right Here, Right Now, which features a selection of her improvised works for solo, duo, quartet and (the) London Improvisers Orchestra, it’s out now on the Discus Music record label. 

Charlotte is involved in several Discus Music projects as a composer and performer, including Hi Res Heart, French singer Carla Diratz’s The Scale, Julie Tippett’s upcoming release, Illusion, and Anthropology Band with Jazz FM's Gold Award winner Orphy Robinson MBE, Chris Sharkey, Pat Thomas, Anton Hunter and Martin Archer. 

Throughout lockdown, Charlotte recorded music for several new projects, including a duo with renowned improvising vocalist and trumpeter, Phil Minton. She became part of Matt Clark's MC4 and recorded her playing on Music In Unusual Spaces by the canal at Camden Lock, London. She is also part of an exciting new trio with Chris Sharkey and Paul Hession - in March 2022 their trio album will be released, Paint My World. Coming out of lockdown, Charlotte and pianist Matthew Bourne ignited a new duo project, which premiered (and kicked-off) Daylight Music's first concert since lockdown. Another new duo project includes recording and performing with Swiss clarinettist and electronic musician, Christian Müller. Charlotte is also part of Emily Suzanne Shapiro's Lonely Impulse Collective, which sees Charlotte self-releasing improvised pieces of music every ten days, each piece is only available for 24hrs. 

Charlotte is inspired by the way painters explore colours and shapes. She refers to her trumpet and flugelhorn as her ‘sound brushes’. Her music has been featured on Jazz FM, BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 6 where she's been described as a 'prolific', 'dynamic' and 'excellent improviser!' by the likes of Corey Mwamba, Stuart Maconie and Jez Nelson. 

In February 2022 she was invited to perform a solo set as part of Biel/Bienne's Ear We Are International Improvised Music Festival in Switzerland, sharing the stage with the likes of USA’s Moor Mother and Irreversible Entanglements. Charlotte was the only woman from the UK performing at Ear We Are. 

Charlotte proudly plays in a huge number of other projects, including the London Improvisers Orchestra (LIO), Moss Freed’s Union Division, Calum Gourlay’s Big Band and Olivia Murphy’s Jazz Orchestra.  She performs regularly with Alex Ward, Otto Willberg and Andrew Lisle, in Andrew’s trio and in Alex’s Item 4 and 10. She is also part of Birmingham-based Andrew Woodhead’s Pendulums, and plays alongside jazz stalwart Annie Whitehead in Ben Higham’s The Brass Monkeys and with jazz stars Jay Phelps and Rosie Turton in Dan Samsa’s Contours. Alya Al-Sultani’s upcoming opera, Two Sisters, sees Charlotte playing alongside the likes of Alice Zawadzki, Robert Mitchell and Dave Kane. She plays the role of Musician in Goblin Theatre’s production for children, The Legend of the Jazz Penguin. 

She is part of the Mopomoso (the UK’s longest running concert series dedicated to freely improvised music) creative team, programming its concert series at The Vortex, London, and the online show, Mopomoso TV, which launched in June 2020. She was the Assistant Musical Director of the London Gay Big Band in 2019, before focusing more on her own music making. 

Throughout spring 2022, Charlotte is thrilled to be part of a new concert series called Stranger Fruit alongside musicians Sharron McLeod, RENU and Roella Oloro. Stranger Fruit celebrates the legacies of jazz and blues women

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