A native Texan, Charles McCampbell Jr comes from a family of musicians. At home, he was exposed to music like air and began playing the piano at three years old. The musicianship of his parents and of his extended family (many of whom are also professional musicians) have played a large role in his ear for music. In fact, it was his uncle, Joseph Joubert, whose skill as a world renown classical pianist inspired Charles to learn and master the piano.
After an introduction to music and piano essentials in elementary school, Charles went on to be classically trained at W. E. Greiner Exploratory Arts Academy. During this time, he also became a pianist at his church. Later Charles auditioned for and was accepted into the Booker T. Washington School for Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, Texas. There he continued his classical training and technique under the direction of Eva Flowers. Charles studied and performed many classical works, including Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach. Furthermore, Charles learned both advanced music theory and jazz piano under Kent Ellingson. Upon graduating from the Arts Magnet, Charles competed in the nationally televised NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) hosted in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Instrumentalists came in from numerous cities across the United States to compete. Charles won first place gold in piano instrumental and was featured in the Dallas Morning News. Charles attended Weatherford College where he immersed in more jazz and music theory courses while earning his degree.
Charles’ talent has brought him before a wide audience and allowed him to be in the company of artists such as Herbie Hancock, George Duke, McCoy Tyner, and Kenny Garret. In addition to providing keyboard accompaniment at several churches throughout the Dallas and Fort Worth metropolitan area, Charles has spent many years performing both as a solo artist and as part of several bands at a variety of public and private functions. He has toured throughout the United States and many countries in Europe with different artists, including multi-Grammy award winning jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove. Charles is a professional studio recording artist and has played keyboards, piano and vocals on many chart topping songs, and albums. He has performed with Norah Jones and the Mac Band, Kirk Franklin and a host of other popular artists. Charles is also a songwriter and producer. He plays an assortment of keyboard instruments that include the Hammond B3 organ, Hohner D6 clavinet, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer electric piano, and a host of synthesizers, such as the Minimoog.
Charles’ musical repertoire includes classical, jazz, funk, R&B, gospel, Latino, rock, and pop genres. Charles has successfully taught students, ranging from beginners to advanced pianists, the essentials of how to play the piano with correct technique in both private and classroom settings. Additionally, Charles teaches music theory and jazz theory to pianists, as well as all instrumentalists. He currently serves as the Director of Piano Studies at Stellar Academy of Fine Arts in Dallas, Texas.
Here is a Sample of his work: