Erik Charlston

Percussionist Erik Charlston, a native of Chicago, has a diverse career centered in New York where he performs regularly with the New York Philharmonic, with Encores at City Center, and on film soundtracks from Disney’s Aladdin to the recent Coen Brothers’ Hail Caesar and Ben Stiller’s Zoolander 2. A frequent performer on Broadway in The Lion King and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, he has also played extensively with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Mostly Mozart, Moscow’s Moiseyev Dance Company, and the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra and has appeared as soloist on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. Highlights among dozens of other film soundtracks include You’ve Got Mail, Hitch, The Manchurian Candidate, Julie & Julia, True Grit, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. As a jazz artist, he has performed and recorded with such artists as Wynton Marsalis, Fred Hersch, Steve Coleman, Sam Rivers, Dave Brubeck, and Orlando Puntilla Rios. He has performed with Sting, Billy Joel, and Elton John at Carnegie Hall and played with Metallica at Madison Square Garden with St. Luke’s. Along with Bill Frisell, Gil Goldstein, Marty Ehrlich, and Greg Cohen, he has interpreted the music of the great film composer Bernard Herrmann in London with the BBC Symphony, in France with the Orchestre National de Lyon, and most recently with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 

His own group JazzBrasil has a new CD entitled Essentially Hermeto, featuring the music of the great Hermeto Pascoal.
Recording credits include radio, television, films, and record labels such as Sony, Gramavision, Telarc, EMI, Newport Classics, Nonesuch, and French Antilles. Outside New York, he has performed chamber music throughout Europe and Japan, and, with the New York Philharmonic, has toured widely throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Mr. Charlston received degrees from the University of Iowa, with a double major in voice and percussion, and from the Juilliard School, where he was the recipient of the Saul Goodman Award. He is has been a faculty member at Manhattan School of Music since 1993.