The Florida State College of Music is proud to announce alumnus Etienne Charles as the 2016 recipient of the Reubin O’D. Askew Young Alumni Award. This award is the highest honor bestowed upon young alumni by the FSU Alumni Association National Board of Directors’ Awards Committee, and recognizes the extraordinary achievements of these outstanding alumni.

A trumpet performance major in the Jazz Studies program at FSU, Charles graduated from the College of Music in 2006. Charles went on to earn the Master of Arts degree from the Juilliard School and currently serves as Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University.

Hailed by the New York Times as “an auteur” and by Jazz Times as "a daring improviser who delivers with heart wrenching lyricism,” Charles was written into the US Congressional Record in 2012 for “his musical contributions to Trinidad & Tobago and the World.” In 2013, Charles released the highly acclaimed album Creole Soul, which spent three weeks at No. 1 in the Jazz Weekcharts, reached No. 25 in the Billboard rankings, and was named the No. 3 “Jazz Album of the Year” by Jazz Week magazine.

A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Charles was also awarded the 2013 Caribbean Heritage Trailblazer Award by the Institute of Caribbean Studies in Washington, DC. In 2015, Charles premiered the "San Jose Suite," a piece funded by the 2014 New Jazz Works grant of Chamber Music America, and he was also named a Guggenheim Fellow in that same year (2015).

The College of Music congratulates Etienne Charles on receiving the Askew Award and on all of his accomplishments! Thank you for being such a strong representative for our programs here at FSU!

To see Etienne Charles speak about his time at FSU, please click here: Askew Award