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Charlie Best

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About Charlie

Charlie is an experienced professional trumpeter, musical director and private tutor from Cornwall, in the South West of the UK.
Saint Austell
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Charlie is an experienced professional trumpeter, musical director and private tutor from Cornwall, in the South West of the UK. Currently active as a musician for Princess Cruises as well as filling in for various shows and ensembles across the UK. Charlie has studied jazz technique and improvisation under Andrew Fisher, Dan Mar-Molinero and Trevor Walker at the University of Southampton. He was also classically trained by David Frost at Truro College and Julian Poore at the University of Southampton, so finds himself equally at home in orchestral settings as he does in big bands, funk bands, and musical theatre. As a successful conducting student under the tutelage of Robin Browning while at university, he also gained a wealth of experience as Musical Director of the Southampton University Jazz Orchestra from May 2014 – July 2015. As a jazz/funk/fusion trumpeter he has supported artists such as Gary Crosby, Denys Baptiste, The Peter Edwards Trio, WorldService Project and Schnellertollermeier. As a cabaret band trumpeter, he has played alongside West End and Broadway stars Kerry Ellis, Ian Stroughair, Paul Baker and Nik Page and also backed Peter Howarth (lead singer of The Hollies) and Mark Preston (former singer with The Lettermen). He has also made television appearances on Doc Martin and BBC Songs of Praise. Charlie is fortunate enough to have performed in some of Europe’s most magnificent venues including the RAH, RNCM, Birmingham Symphony Hall, The Sage Gateshead, Colston Hall, North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, Jazz á Vienne, Turner Sims Concert Hall, The Concorde Club, The Talking Heads, The Eden Project, The Stage Door (Southampton), Brussels Cathedral, Romsey Abbey, Truro Cathedral, Exeter Phoenix, The Minack Theatre and Hall for Cornwall.

Performance details
I can perform outdoors
Cabaret, Classical, Pop, Rock, Film / TV music, Musical theatre, Classical crossover, Contemporary classical, Opera, Fanfare, Christmas, 1920s era music, 1930s era music, 1940s era music, 1950s era music, 1960s era music, 1970s era music, 1980s era music, 1990s era music, Jazz, Blues, Dixieland, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion, Latin jazz, Modern jazz, Postmodern jukebox jazz, Ragtime, Swing, Barbershop, Gospel, Covers, Funk, Funk rock, Hip Hop, Motown, R&B, Soul, Top 40, Tribute, Disco, Cuban music, Latin, Reggae, Ska, World music, Military, Marching, Afrobeat, Argentinian, Bossa nova, Brazilian music, Salsa, Samba, Tango, French music, Australian music, Caribbean music, Calypso, Cumbia
See all genres
See all instruments
Event types:
Theatre / Show, Cruise, Wedding, Wedding proposal, Funeral / Memorial service, Church service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Bar / Club / Venue event, Private event, Corporate event, Charity event, Concert, Recording session, Burns night, Birthday party, Christmas party, New Year's Eve
See all event types
Other skills:
Arranger, Orchestrator, Transcription, Fluent sight-reader, Fluent improviser, Instrumental teaching, Theory teaching, MC
See all skills
Customer questions

What if my timings change after I've booked you?

I will always try to be flexible to any changes of date or time wherever possible. If timings change slightly in the run up to the event just let me know as soon as possible.

Can you provide an iPod/DJ service before and between your sets?

I don't currently have anything in place for this. However, if a client does request some interval music for their event then I would be happy to put together a custom playlist tailored to their requirements.

How much time do you need to set up?

I would usually ask for at least 30 minutes to set up. Where required, exceptions can be made with advance notice.

Can I pick the pieces you play from the set list?

I will play pretty much anything you like. If you can provide sheet music, all the better.

Do you bring all the equipment you need to perform?

When playing acoustically, yes, I bring everything required. If you would like me to play with a microphone/PA setup, this should be provided by the venue or event organiser.

Can you learn specific pieces before the event?

I am happy to learn pretty much any piece in any genre. If it's simple, I can usually transcribe or learn it by ear. Again, if you can provide sheet music, all the better.

What do your clients love most about your performances?

Some love my raw energy and genuine enthusiasm in a party band situation. Others have praised my melodic ballad playing for the warm tone and nuanced expression. Everybody is drawn to different aspects but I'm positive that my performances will have something to please just about everyone.

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

I've performed in a wide spectrum of venues ranging from the Royal Albert Hall in London to being curled up on a kitchen worktop in somebody's house somewhere in deepest darkest Cornwall. More recently, most of my time has been spent in professional theatres and lounges aboard cruise ships.

Which artists have you been most influenced by?

I have been influenced by every piece of music I've ever heard, some have touched me more than others but all music has something to teach. A few of my favourite trumpet players are: James Morrison, Roy Hargrove, Wayne Bergeron, Jon Faddis, Wynton Marsalis, Chet Baker and Thomas Gansch.

What is the most high profile gig you've performed?

High profile? Does playing for Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip, and Prince Charles count? I've also played at some internationally renowned jazz festivals: North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival and Jazz á Vienne.


Note: prices may vary based on travel distance. For an exact quote, click “Check availability”.

Standard Prices
Performance durationPrice
Short performance (up to 15 min)£100
Up to 1 hour£200
Up to 2 hours£250
Up to 3 hours£290


From customers:

Stephen E, 5 years ago

You sound F***ING AMAZING!!!

From other musicians:

5th June 2019

I recently had the pleasure of working with Charlie on a Cruise contract. I come from a brass background and I can say with conviction that he's an amazing player with excellent technique/tone and a pristine work ethic. I've not met better.