British trumpeter/flugelhorn player Charlotte Keeffe’s passion for free improvisation, jazz and experimental music making sees her performing regularly as a soloist and as part of a variety of different ensembles, including her own Quartet. Charlotte Keeffe(‘s) Quartet (CKQ) features Ashley John Long on double bass, Ben Handysides on drums, Moss Freed on guitar and herself as composer and trumpeter/flugelhorn player. CKQ is currently touring the UK celebrating the release of Charlotte’s debut album, Right Here, Right Now, on the Discus Music record label.
Right Here, Right Now features Charlotte’s improvised works for solo, duo, quartet and large ensemble. She is involved in several other Discus Music projects as a composer and performer, including Hi Res Heart and Anthropology Band with; Jazz FM's Gold Award winner Orphy Robinson MBE, Chris Sharkey, Pat Thomas, Anton Hunter and Martin Archer. She is also part of Emily Suzanne Shapiro’s brain child, Lonely Impulse Collective, which sees her releasing improvised pieces of music every ten days, each piece is only available for 24hrs.
Charlotte is very inspired by the way (live) painters explore colours and shapes in the moment on their canvases. She refers to her trumpet and flugelhorn as her ‘sound brushes’. Her music making has been featured on radio shows all around the world including BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 6 and Jazz FM.
Charlotte plays in the London Improvisers Orchestra (LIO), she also leads LIO conductions and is a board member assisting the preparations for each monthly LIO concert. She can also be seen and heard as part of Moss Freed’s Union Division and Calum Gourlay’s Big Band. She also plays 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) 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; exploring her composed material with free improvisation.
Charlotte is a jazz and improvised music trumpet professor at the London Performing Academy of Music. She is also part of the Parliamentary Award Winning, Women in Jazz Media team, working alongside folks to create gender and diversity equality within the music/jazz industry.
Her further credits include performing at the World Economic Forum to world leaders and celebrities, such as Sir David Attenborough as part of Marin Alsop’s Taki Concordia Orchestra. She has also accompanied the likes of Laura Mvula, Charlotte Church, Kate Nash and Liane Carroll as part of the Wilderness (Festival) Orchestra.
‘…Charlotte Keeffe’s blood-red, rasping flugelhorn and trumpet blew breathy cadences and messages as if her lungs were burning with an electricity all of her own.’
- Chris Searle, MORNING STAR
‘…characterful beautiful-toned flugelhorn…’
- Sebastian Scotney, LONDONJAZZNEWS
‘Fresh on the scene, trumpeter Charlotte Keeffe is a whirlwind of extended techniques and tactile puzzles, removing the mouthpiece to elicit a windy howl, using her left hand as a mute in the bell of the horn and revelling in restless possibilities.’
- Daniel Spicer, JAZZWISE MAGAZINE
‘Keeffe performs with great assurance and inventiveness and her playing in this essentially improvised context is a revelation.’
- Ian Mann, THE JAZZ MANN
Alex Ward’s Item 4 - Where We Were (Relative Pitch Records - RPR1106)
‘So many artists have attempted to tackle Electric Miles™ but Archer and Keeffe go one better by inhabiting their music with the very spirit of ruthless experimentation that defined the era.’
Anthropology Band (Discus Music - 90CD)