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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Charles McPherson


CHARLES McPHERSON (saxophonist, composer, bandleader) was born on July 24, 1939 in Joplin Missouri. After moving to Detroit, he studied with acclaimed pianist Barry Harris and began his professional career at 19. McPherson became part of the great Charles Mingus group in 1960 and remained until 1972. His fluid and intricate playing has been featured not only in his own ensembles but with Billy Eckstine, Barry Harris and the Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra. He was chosen to be the featured alto saxophonist in Clint Eastwood’s biopic about Charlie Parker, “Bird”.