The following is from a New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Arts for Transit leaflet from 1998.


Jazz Underground '98 is a Music Under New York's celebration of the infinite variety and excitement that MUNY jazz musicians create in New York City's subway stations. The energy, style, and restless spirit of jazz seem to parallel the pace and character of life in the city. MUNY is proud to once again present our two-week festival as part of the Texaco New York Jazz Festival. (Click for schedule of performances.)

Jazz Underground '98 is a tribute to Denis Charles, 1933-1998. Denis began playing percussion as a young child in the West Indies. By the late 1940s, he had become part of New York's musical community, first in Caribbean groups, and then as one of the original members of the Cecil Taylor group. An imaginative and original drummer, he performed and recorded with Sonny Rollins, Jemeel Moondoc, and numerous other musicians. Denis made two recordings under his own name, one of which, "Captain of the Deep," was released on March 26, the day he died.

Denis was an eclectic and popular musician, prized as much for his supportive and generous spirit as for his talents, which were bountiful. He loved the spontaneity of playing for a commuter audience and of bringing music to listeners who couldn't normally afford the cost of an evening at a nightclub.

Denis Charles will be much missed. All who knew him called him "Friend."

All performances are at the Times Square/42nd Street Subway Station (mezzanine area).



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