Erik Charlston



Percussionist Erik Charlston’s diverse, New York-based career has included regular performances with the NY Philharmonic, with Encores/City Center and on film soundtracks from Disney’s “Aladdin” to the current “Joker,” “Gemini Man” and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming “West Side Story.” A frequent performer on Broadway, he has also played with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and as soloist on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” He has also performed with jazz and pop luminaries including Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Tony Bennett, Bill Frisell, Sting, Elton John, and Metallica at Madison Square Garden. Erik Charlston JazzBrasil has performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center and has released two CDs. He has performed chamber music throughout Europe and Japan, and with the New York Philharmonic has toured widely throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia, including North Korea. He taught at Manhattan School of Music for over twenty years and served as co-chair of the percussion dept.

ABOUT THE CLINIC: Classical and Jazz: Technical Options for the Vibraphone

This presentation will use the vibraphone to explore what playing classical music and playing jazz have in common, where they differ and how using different techniques will help playing both styles. 

This will involve examining posture and projection that both styles share, how listening and reacting, conceptualizing “how” vs. “what” to play and comparing approaches to time differ in each world. To illustrate, I’ll perform a number of pieces.

An integral part of this presentation involves the musical directions we choose as percussionists. I was fortunate to be exposed to many styles of music while I was growing up and I became deeply in love with many different sounds.  My running message to our students is to joyfully follow your heart and favorite sounds! Fortunately for us, we play instruments that live distinctly in every culture in the world. If you’re so inspired, you can study a given culture and its music and emerge a better informed human being and a much stronger musician.



Posted on

August 30, 2019