Western Jazz Presenters Network

Photo of Charles McPherson Jazz legend.
Photo by Antonio Porcar

Charles is pleased to announce that the Western Jazz Presenters Network has been awarded a NEA Grant to support tours with the Charles McPherson Quartet in Spring, August and October through early November, 2018. The project activities include three distinct tours with performances in as many as eight rural and urban nonprofit venues in Western states including Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Washington. Ancillary tour activities will entail workshops for high school and college students, open rehearsals, and audience talkback sessions. Organizations of the WJPN include Earshot Jazz in Seattle, The Outpost in Albuquerque, Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz, CA and the Jazz Bakery in L.A.. Look out for coming dates and all information! If you’re interested in becoming involved with WJPN, click here.


Charles and Camille McPhersonOh, baby! Charles & Camille McPherson began
collaborating even before her birth

Read this great story at San Diego Union Tribune.


Charles Joins San Diego Ballet as Their Resident Composer for 2017! read more…

Redman Award_home

Charles Receives the 15th Annual Don Redman Jazz Heritage Award

The 2016 15th Annual Don Redman Heritage Award was presented to Charles McPherson in recognition of his musicianship, humanity and dignity, as an asset to jazz in the tradition of Don Redman, and whose work in music and education illuminate the spirit of Don Redman” Find out more…


Illusions In Blue 1990–Recorded live in La Jolla California. A limited amount of this re-issue is now available through Chazz Jazz.

 (read the full liner notes here)

Sample the title track of “Illusions in Blue”

Purchase the Album


CSUSMCalifornia State University San Marcos awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Fine Arts, to Charles McPherson during its commencement ceremonies on May 16, 2015. See photos, the diploma, the citation, and the University’s press release >>


“McPherson has not merely remained true to his bop origins but has expanded on them, both as improvising soloist and as composer. . . .his sound bold and full, he brought his own values to three of his original pieces: “Horizons,” with its shifting moods; “Illusions in Blue,” a sort of 21st Century variation on the blues with archly ingenious piano chording and the rich, almost lushly evocative “A Tear and a Smile.” Having thus displayed his dual talents as composer/player, McPherson then felt free to tear into “Cherokee” at a breakneck pace.”
Leonard Feather-Los Angeles Times


Photo Credit Nick Ruechel
Photo Credit: Nick Ruechel

Charles McPherson was born in Joplin, Missouri and grew up in Detroit . He studied with the renowned pianist Barry Harris and started playing jazz professionally at age 19. He moved from Detroit to New York in 1959 and performed with Charles Mingus from ’60 to ’72, also collaborating frequently with Harris, Lonnie Hillyer (trumpet), and George Coleman (tenor sax). Read more about Charles >>


“The Journey” Album

Album Charts The Remarkable Musical Voyage Of Saxophone Legend Charles McPherson

Album released by Capri Records on CD February 17, 2015!

DownBeat MagazineEditor’s Pick March 2015

McPherson has put out a prodigious album…one listen is all it takes to know that this is at the way you’re supposed to play” – Brian Zimmerman, DownBeat Magazine

Bebop, sharp and driving.” – Nate Chinen, The New York Times

Here’s a sample of “The Journey” track:

And a sample of  the “I Should Care” track:

Read the 2-17-15 Press Release

Read the Album Reviews

Purchase the Album

“Sweet Synergy Suite” a Jazz/Afro-Cuban Ballet

Click for touring information and more info about the San Diego premier.

Original music composed by Charles McPherson

Choreography by Javier Velasco
Featuring members of the San Diego Ballet

Made possible by a generous grant from the San Diego Foundation’s ‘Creative Catalyst Fund’ 2013

Nightfall” a composition from “Sweet Synergy Suite”
Tom Harrell trumpet, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola / Jazz at Lincoln Center