Born in Bonham, Texas, in 1916, early electric guitar pioneer Charlie Christian learned to play music from his father, Clarence Henry Christian, and worked as a busker in his youth. His family moved to Oklahoma City and, before long, Christian was playing jam sessions in the historic Deep Deuce neighborhood to encore performances and soon began performing regionally.
In 1939, after auditioning for record producer John Hammond, he was signed to Benny Goodman’s Sextet and Orchestra and remained with Goodman until 1941. Declining health, brought on by tuberculosis, resulted in his untimely death the following year. The Charlie Christian Project, founded in 2012, celebrates the music of Christian at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 11. Featuring guitarist Michael Anthony, accompanied by clarinetist Dave Anderson, bassist Micky Patten, and John Trentacosta on drums, The Charlie Christian Project ushers in the Santa Fe Music Collective’s concert season with the first of its Jazz Club Series.