Charles Darden III
young, tall, lean, and of course, The Voice. Charles Darden lives to share his
love of the timeless standards of such legendary composers as George & Ira
Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Cole Porter and Rodgers & Hart. Darden brings back
to life the look, sound and feel of truly great entertainers such as Frank
Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Louis Armstrong. And he does so authentically.
Charles has made it a major goal to carry on and help develop this great tradition. The youngest and only son in a family of eight children, Charles Wilson Darden III was born and raised in Hampton Virginia. Chucky, as he is called by his family, was exposed to Elvis and other rock and pop music growing up.
In high school Charles gravitated toward Jazz and Big Band music on his own. He was attracted to the swing. He was playing Tenor Sax in the Marching and Concert band. After a few years of serious listening to people like Ellington, Thelonius Monk, John Coltrane and Wynton Marsalis Charles tried to go out in public and get his own gigs.
First as a sax player at jam sessions, then as a singer. It was more than obvious he was a singer, and a singer who make a living singing and then some). He began crooning his way into clubs all over the Hampton Roads area including hotbeds for live music like Goodfellas, The Jewish Mother and J.M. Randall.
This in itself
was a big accomplishment considering the area and most of its venues do not
generally embrace artists who are not playing rock or blues. Charles was asked
by Kathie Moore, the President of Cellar Door of Virginia Beach, to perform on
the side-stage of the
In October 1999 the Coast 93.7 aired a song Charles wrote and performed entitled Time to Heal. Musicians playing with Charles currently are pianist James Hancock, guitarist Joe Dee Daniels, drummers Robert McDonald, Jr. and Kenny Cross, Trumpeter John Greenburg and bassist Terry Burrell. Some of these musicians vary from gig to gig.
Charles was a regular at the Friday night Wine & Jazz Party at the Mill Point in Hampton all summer along with playing the Chrysler Museum, The Cavalier Hotel, Manhattans in Newport News and The Tobacco Company and Hard Shell, both in Richmond.
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