The Boy From Brazil
The Early Days
Charlson Ximenes was born in a small town in the state of Pernambuco in Brazil. He started studying music theory at the age of 9, and by the age of 14 he was playing the clarinet and altosaxophone semi-professionally in the local brass-orchestra. At the age of 11 he had also taken up guitar lessons from some older friends and strangers alike. „I'd let them play my guitar under the condition that they should teach me to play a song each time“, says Charlson. A couple of years later he was taking part in a number of song contests as a singer/songwriterand/or as a musician, mostly competing against locally established artists (and often beating them!).
The Pop Years
At the age of 15 Charlson and a group of childhood friends found the band „Seres“. The band impressed a Children's TV program host, who invited them to do a series of live shows in exchange for TV appearances. They jumped at the opportunity and, as a result, gained a good amount of exposure and fame.
The Experimental Rock Years
In the pursuit of career development, Charlson moved to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, respectively, where within a short while he was making his first vinyl LP-recording, Tora Tora Tora (Baratos Afins/RCA), with experimental band „Esquadrilha da Fumaca“ (Flying Squad), actually as a bass and keyboard player. Charlson recalls that „they already had a good guitarist and were looking for someone to play these other instruments and some effects, so I arrived, in reply to an advertisement in a music magazine, and was given an instrument to play - without any ceremony“.
That same year, 1984, Charlson had the opportunity to meet and play with some of his childhood idols, like Brazilian legendary rocker Raul Seixas and many other top-class musicians. As someone who is as comfortable in the studio as on-stage, Charlson went on to form the band „Matéria Prima“ (Raw Material), playing originals and cover-versions in Sao Paulo's bars and night-clubs circuit. Meanwhile, during the day, he would work teaching rock-guitar to young teenagers, until the opportunity to study in England arose.
The Guitar Hero Years
In 1986 Charlson moved to London, where he studied different music-related subjects at Morley College , while playing the London pub and club circuit with various bands. He then formed Deja Vu; a melodic, guitar-led, heavy rock band, for which Charlson wrote most of the songs and arrangements in partnership with bass-player Chris Rice. This period was also the beginning of Charlson's career as a artistic director and record producer. The band released the singles Black Angel (1987 - Ride Records) and Love Me Tonite (1988 – Ebony Records).
The Jazz Years
Having concluded his studies at Morley College, Charlson returned to Sao Paulo, where he worked as a teacher but then decided to return to London and subsequently moved to Sheffield, where he lived for a year. There he teamed up with a local Jazz singer but - yet again - decided return to London.
Rock, Pop, Latin
Back in London, Charlson felt compelled to look to other more „lucrative“ areas to work in, as he gathered ideas for the production of his debut solo album, Collision Course(Aqua/Vinardy), which was eventually released in 2001.
Collision Course was recorded in partnership with drummer / singer / bassplayer David Etheridge, who also assisted on the production side, and also features vocal performances by Charlson Ximenes and Jay Rice (who was only about 17 years of age at that time).
The album was warmly received by music critics and the general public. The album is still physically distributed to stores worldwide as well as through on-line stores, like iTunes, which allow for album and single downloads.
In 2003 Charlson moved to Germany, where he initially worked as a live and studio session musician,joining projects that covered numerous musical styles, ranging from Latin to contemporary opera, hip-hop, rap and beyond. This versatility attracted the attention of Latin-Grammy nominee, Brazilian vocal master, Edson Cordeiro, who asked Charlson to work on remixes of arias from his „Contratenor“ album. The remixes were never officially released but were used on a TV-documentary and other video projects that are found on Youtube. They also became the platform for the memorable performance with Edson Cordeiro at the 2007 Christopher Street Day, in Berlin, which attracted hundreds of thousands of people and included performances by other legends, like Nina Hagen.
In 2008 Charlson produced Edson Cordeiro's live concert, The Woman's Voice, and subsequently the CD-album, which is dedicated to the voices of great female singers who have influenced Cordeiro's career and life. The album also showcases the artistic talents of German pianist Broder Kühne.
The partnership with Cordeiro, with whom Charlson tours regularly, remains stronger as than ever. In 2013 Charlson produced Cordeiro's ”Elektronic Trilogy” EP, which is available for download worldwide.
In 2014 Charlson continues to collaborate with the "paradise bird" Cordeiro in a variety of projects and is also currently producing Cuban singer Julio Cesar, so watch this space for some exciting news!!