Charles Overton is a Boston-based harpist and performer of classical, jazz and world music. He began his harp studies at the age of ten under the direction of Lynelle Ediger, where as a member of her “American Youth Harp Ensemble” he was afforded the opportunity at an early age to perform internationally in notable venues such as the Salle Gaveaux in Paris and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. In 2009 Charles went on to attend the Interlochen Arts Academy to further his musical development under the direction of Joan Raeburn Holland during which time he was a prizewinner in the Young Artist Harp Competition and was twice a finalist for the Interlochen Arts Academy Concerto Competition.
In 2012 Charles moved to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music, where while continuing to study classical music under the direction of BSO principal harpist, Jessica Zhou, he also began to explore the world of jazz and other improvised musics more seriously. During his time at Berklee, he competed in the 2013 American Harp Society National Competition where he was a finalist, and became the first harp student to be admitted to the Berklee Global Jazz Institute – a prestigious and highly specialized program at the school in which students are able to learn from and work intimately with master jazz artists such as Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Joe Lovano, and Terri-Lynn Carrington.
Over the course of his musical career, Charles has attended several summer music festivals such as the Tanglewood Music Center, Pacific Music Festival, and the Castleton Festival where he has performed under the batons of conductors such as Stéphane Denève, Jun Markl, Stefan Asbury, and the late Lorin Maazel. Additionally he has performed with various ensembles in some of the world’s greatest concert halls including Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston’s Symphony Hall and the KKL Luzern Concert Hall.
Currently, Charles resides in Boston where he maintains an active performance schedule as a performer of classical, jazz and contemporary music. Recent engagements include an appearance at Scullers Jazz Club with his jazz ensemble: the Charles Overton Group, regular performances with the Boston Philharmonic, an appearance as a featured artist at the Dutch Harp Festival in concert with the Dutch National Youth Jazz Orchestra, as well as a performance tour of Spain performing Ginastera’s Harp Concerto with Benjamin Zander’s Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.