Bio and Press

Steve Charles graduated with a degree in jazz guitar performance from Capilano University. He studied Orchestration and Composition at UBC. He speaks French, and Portuguese and plays soccer with passion.

He has worked as a musical director, composer and musician with The Vancouver Playhouse, the Arts Club, Bard on the Beach, Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Shameless Hussies, The Firehall Arts Centre, VACT, the Cultch, Main Street Theatre, Musical Theatre Works, The Only Animal, Fugue Theatre, T.U.T.S., Theatre Conspiracy, Mortal Coil, North Shore Light Opera, Tryptych Theatre, Massey Theatre, Boca del Lupo, and Third Street Theatre.  He works extensively with Tracey Power in their own company, The Escape Artists.

The past few years he’s played at Folk Festivals, Fringe Festivals and Jazz Festivals across Canada, the U.S., and Europe with bands The Fugitives, Petunia, and others. He produced “Whiskey Hollow Bound”, a compilation CD of local Bluegrass and Old-time music. He has toured the UK and Europe extensively with alt-bluegrass band Viper Central. He music directs “Galala” on TV Unis and “Pacifique en Chanson” annually. He works extensively in the Vancouver theatre community as a composer, music director and sound designer. He is in demand as a performer and recording artist for his versatile musicality and as a multi-instrumentalist.

for “Chelsea Hotel” (Firehall)

Musical director Steve Charles has created some extraordinary and surprising arrangements, never relying on the safety of Cohen’s chops, but cunningly playing with the merchandise so that we get a wacky I’m Your Man (which may destroy any notion you have that the kazoo is not a sexy instrument); a raunchy, rocking outHallelujah; laugh-out-loud moments during Chelsea Hotel.

(Marsha Lederman- Globe and Mail)

...the splendour of Steve Charles’s arrangements of Leonard Cohen’s transcendent songs,

(Colin Thomas- The Straight)

 Steve Charles’ arrangements (multiple voices, unusual harmonies) are consistently interesting,

(Jerry Wasserman- The Province)

for “Lucille Starr” (Firehall/Musical Theatreworks)

If the show has one strength, it’s the music.  Musical director Steve Charles has successfully knit together a tight unit with musicians Jeremy Holmes and Jimmy Roy.

(Vancouver Plays)

for “Brief Encounter” (The Vancouver Playhouse/MTC)

Musical director Steve Charles adds an additional layer to the whole proceeding with some wonderful renditions of some of Coward’s songs and in the original music by Stu Barker.

(Mark Robbins- “Brief Encounter”)