Charlie Christian Biography

Guitarist (1916–1942)
Charlie Christian was a pioneering electric jazz guitarist of the mid-20th century who would go on to greatly influence his successors.


Born on July 20, 1916, in Texas, Charlie Christian grew up in a family of musicians and played piano and the amplified guitar. His guitar skills were such that in 1939 he earned a spot playing with Benny Goodman’s band and alongside greats like Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie. Christian died at 25 on March 2, 1942 from tuberculosis, yet became a pioneer of electric guitar playing.

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