DRUMMER VIBRAPHONIST COMPOSER ARRANGER
The artistic demands of jazz music have always been the driving force behind the San Francisco Bay Area-based drummer/vibraphonist and composer Charles Xavier, although his music cannot be classified as jazz. Xavier creates strong musical statements, bringing together the free-form artistry of jazz, infusing it with the passion of punk, funk, rock and the street heat of rap. Often intense, other times fun, his sonic soundscapes take listeners on a creative, thought-provoking journey that leave a lasting impression.
His latest release, “The XMan Cometh – Expect the Unexpected,” introduces The XMan, an emcee of sorts, who boldly questions the status quo. You’ll hear the unexpected: thick, funky bass beats and the sweet tones of the vibraphone coupled with screaming horns and driving drum lines. The stories are of sex, eroticism, politics, and street hustle. Whether it’s the struggle to find love or taking on the challenge of standing up for others, The XMan provides music with a message for where you will find solace during dark times.
In 1982, Xavier co-produced an EP with Glenn Feit (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gary Numan, David Byrne, and Bobby Womack), The King Has Come, with Xavier and the Messengers. The album, which features a caricature of Ronald Reagan on the cover, is a blend of New Wave, reggae, rock and jazz, and went on to receive the prestigious Editor's Choice award from the esteemed Downbeat Magazine. In the mid-'70s, Xavier created developed a loyal audience on the East Coast with his avant-garde jazz band Satori, through numerous in club, college, and festival performances and TV and radio appearances.
A jazz drummer since he was sixteen, Xavier was born and raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where the East Coast jazz scene shaped and defined his musical tastes. He studied arranging and composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York, he studied drumming with Jack DeJohnette, Bobby Moses, Stu Martin and Jumma Santos, and creative ensemble performance under the guidance of Karl Berger, Dave Holland, Kalaparusha, and John Ambercrombie.