Charlie began trumpet lessons at age nine in Cortland, NY and was active in marching band, concert band, orchestra, chorus, and conducting classes. Eager to work professionally, he started his own dance band in the ninth grade. At age 19 he joined the Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros Circus and toured for six years as first trumpeter and later as the musical director.
The circus relocated him to Florida where he began to play a variety of gigs: stage shows with nightclub performers like Al Martino, Mel Torme, and Patti Page, Broadway shows, Dixieland show clubs, and free-lance engagements at Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Church Street Station in Orlando. Charlie played for four years at Circus World Theme Park as first trumpeter and assistant conductor, and then as musical director for the Ringling Bros & Barnum & Bailey Circus. In demand as a first-call trumpeter, he has backed up artists such as Burt Bacharach, Henry Mancini, Johnny Mathis, and Ray Charles. He has played on network TV specials for Walt Disney World, Ringling Bros Circus, and several PBS music specials.
As a recording artist, Charlie has seven solo albums on AppleJazz Records, and two Christmas albums on Arbors Records, which have become classics in the industry. He has recorded thirteen albums with Bill Allred's Classic Jazz Band and has produced over ninety albums for other artists, including Warren Vaché, Bob Haggart, Wycliffe Gordon, Harry Allen, Dick Hyman, Bucky Pizzarelli, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Milt Hinton, Flip Phillips and John Allred.
Charlie was the executive director of the annual AppleJazz Festival held in upstate NY, which ran for thirty years from 1984 until 2014. The AppleJazz Band also performed at the Syracuse Jazz Fest in July 2015.
As a teacher and clinician he has led workshops and lectures at universities and high schools, is an adjunct trumpet teacher at Osceola County School for the Arts, and keeps a busy schedule teaching private trumpet students.
Charlie Bertini will be at the Blue Bamboo Sunday, October 16, 2022 at 3 PM