A native of Awendaw, SC, Charlton Singleton started playing the piano at the age of 3. While his older sister and brother took 30 minute lessons, Charlton would watch and then eventually “pick out” what he heard and observed in their lessons. His parents would eventually ask the teacher to include him in the weekly lessons.
Charlton would then go on between the age of 3 and 16 to study and/or take lessons on the piano, organ, trumpet, violin, and cello. In the summer of the 1988, he was the principal trumpeter with the United States Collegiate Wind Band. This ensemble was comprised of some of the best high school musicians in the United States. The United States Collegiate Wind Band toured over 9 different countries in Europe playing in some of the best concert halls in the world.
In 1994, Charlton received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from South Carolina State University. It was at SCSU that he would learn such important lessons in performance, songwriting, arranging, and teaching. He would return to the Lowcountry and join 6 other musicians to form the band SKWZBXX (pronounced – “squeeze box”). The band would play from 1995 to 1999, release three CDs to great Regional success, and tour the East Coast and Southeastern region of the United States. It was also during this time that he would meet, befriend, and share the stage with such performers and members of bands including the O’Jays, Jerry Butler, Fred Wesley, and Hootie and the Blowfish, to name a few.
In 2000, he became a public school music teacher and band director. He has worked at the elementary, middle, and high school levels as well as an adjunct jazz trumpet instructor at the College of Charleston. With such a vast background, he is in demand as a lecturer, performer, clinician, and arranger for many school bands, professional artists, and their recording projects.
Currently, as a performer, Mr. Singleton leads three groups under his name: The Charlton Singleton Trio, The Charlton Singleton Quintet, both of which perform traditional jazz music, the Charlton Singleton Band (contemporary jazz/r&b/funk) and he is the Artistic Director/Bandleader of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra (CJO) under the auspices of the Jazz Artists of Charleston. Mr. Singleton is also the Organist/Choir Director for Our Lady of Mercy and St. Patrick Catholic Churches in Charleston. Singleton was the bandleader/trumpeter for CJI’s Legends Band in 2010 and its first CD recording.