... Performing Eddie Jefferson/James Moody 1949 vocalese classic Moody's Mood, this multi-talented singer shows why he's in demand across the country...
On This Road
I’m one of those guys who actually followed his dream from day one, and so far it has worked out pretty great. An eternal optimist, I have faith in my ability to make people feel better and I’m absolutely convinced that music heals and inspires.
So, where’s the map to success? Don’t know, because I’m still on this road I’m on. I left home at 18 to tour the world as a drummer & singer with the international youth group Up With People, which was a great life experience. I’ve also done dumb things along the way like dropping out of school (Berklee) just days after Freshman orientation in favor of hitting the road with a really hot band. I ended up gigging a LOT, got to practice daily, helped write songs and chase record deals - some things worked out, others, not so much. Eventually though I was the drummer in THAT band which opened for really great acts in the 80’s like Earth, Wind & Fire, Chic and Tavares.
After a few years on the nightclub circuit I decided it was time to return to NYC to pursue a solo career. Auditioning, drumming, singing and taking dance classes, getting call backs and being rejected, with a few surprises along the way like recording and performing with cool NY cats and innovative artists like Tomek Lamprecht of Model Citizens. I got to drum for Martha Reeves, Mary Wells and Phyllis Hyman until a big break came my way via a recording session which led to my becoming a founding member of Warp-9, one of the first electro-hip hop groups in NYC. We made two albums and had 6 hit singles including Nunk, Beatwave, Light Years Away (Prism Records) and No Man Is An Island (Motown) all produced by Jellybean Benitez, Lottie Golden and Richards Scher.
It only took one NYC winter too many for me to decide L.A. was the next stop - so I put all my energy into recording sessions and live shows. A chance meeting at a club I sang at called Simply Blues led to an agency putting me to work so often that I became known in town as The Wedding Singer. It was a great time actually, working with great clients and playing swanky hotels. I learned a ton during this period about being a good bandleader, staying alert to what was needed, shifting on a dime, juggling personalities, soothing frayed nerves and, oh yeah - singing while event planners yelled changes in my ear at the same time.
Now however, I’ve cleared the deck - exploring exactly what I’m capable of as a vocalist and entertainer and signing off on all that should stay in my rear-view mirror. I’ve set up a second camp in Europe - Prague to be exact, while still keeping the career in L.A. simmering along. I chose Prague because it has a great jazz scene with top musicians, cool venues and best of all a really supportive community. Jazz clubs are packed every night - my theory being that the excellent public transportation allows folks to go out and enjoy great live entertainment, have a couple of drinks and still get home in one piece - as a result, there’s always an audience!
I’m excited to be involved with several new projects including jazz standards symphony work, my jazz quartet/quintet where I get to work with amazing players as I croon the classics, a 10-piece R&B funk band I’ve put together with EU players, multiple dates as Guest Artist for jazz festivals in the USA and Europe, and starring in a Broadway-style show called The Original Vintage Orchestra where I get to channel Cab Calloway AND Justin Timberlake. I still have a life goal in this old heart of mine to perform with the Metropole Orkestra and many other experiences I want to accomplish before I get too crooked or blind to even find the stage, so I hope you’ll check in every once in a while to see what I’m up to. ~ Chuck
Chuck Wansley was born in Queens, NYC and raised in a jazz loving family. Convincing his Grandmother to buy him his first drum set and starring in every high school theatrical production he could, Chuck recognized his passion for entertaining and music at an early age.
After graduation, Chuck joined the international youth group Up With People and traveled the globe for 4 years, entertaining world leaders and massive crowds at notable venues like the Royal Albert Hall, La Scala and Carnegie Hall.
Playing the dance club circuit for years as drummer & vocalist throughout the Northeast, Chuck and his band opened for global acts like Earth, Wind & Fire, Chic and Tavares. On days off he would race back to NYC to absorb as much of the jazz scene as he could, hanging out near a window or doorway with drumsticks in his back pocket, he’d listen from the street for lack of a ticket.
After a few years Chuck returned to NYC, determined to make a solo career for himself. Auditioning, drumming, singing and dancing eventually led to gigs with artists such as Martha Reeves, Mary Wells, Phyllis Hyman and innovative artist Tomek Lamprecht of Model Citizens fame. In time fortune smiled with a vocal session that led to Chuck becoming a founding member of Warp-9, one of the first electro-hip hop groups in America with 2 albums and 6 hit singles. Produced by Jellybean Benitez, Lottie Golden & Richard Scher, hits included Nunk, Beatwave and Light Years Away (Prism) and No Man Is An Island (Motown).
Moving to Los Angeles to escape the cold NY winter and further his career, Chuck hooked up with musicians from all over the country, launching an R&B band and a regular gig at an L.A. favorite, Simply Blues. It was there that he met the agent who employed him so often as lead vocalist and bandleader that he became known in town as The Wedding Singer.
After 20+ years on the private circuit, Chuck shifted again by expanding into new territory - literally, by co-locating to Europe in 2015. Having been raised by an avid jazz enthusiast father, all that history reawakened his passion for swing and big band. Chuck has warmly embraced a new chapter in Prague where he performs regularly with his jazz quartet, starring at jazz festivals as guest vocalist with orchestras and swinging big bands throughout Europe, leading his 10-piece R&B funk horn band, and appearing in a Broadway-style show called the Original Vintage Orchestra where he channels Cab Calloway and Justin Timberlake.
Performing with his L.A. band Chuck Wansley After Hours and solo shows as Guest Artist for jazz festivals in the USA and EU not only fill his calendar, but fills his heart as well. To really know music is to understand the mysticism of it. To be this fortunate to live a life of collaboration with great musicians and artists, and reach to the point where you talk without talking is a journey Chuck recognizes as miraculous, and one he is eternally grateful for.
Born in Queens, NYC and raised in a jazz loving family, Chuck recognized his passion for entertaining and music at an early age.
He began his professional life with the international youth group Up With People traveling the globe for 4 years, entertaining world leaders and massive crowds on great stages such as the Royal Albert Hall, La Scala and Carnegie Hall.
As drummer & vocalist with the band Match, Chuck opened for global acts like Earth, Wind & Fire, Chic and Tavares.
Returning to NYC Chuck focused on a solo career, drumming for Martha Reeves, Mary Wells, Phyllis Hyman and innovative artist Tomek Lamprecht of Model Citizens fame.
He was a founding member of NYC's first eletro-hip hop group Warp-9, with 2 albums and 6 hit singles. Produced by Jellybean Benitez, Lottie Golden & Richard Scher, hits included Nunk, Beatwave and Light Years Away (Prism) and No Man Is An Island (Motown).
A move to California led to gig at one of L.A.'s favorite hangs, Simply Blues. It was there that he met the agent who employed him so often as lead vocalist and bandleader that he became known in town as The Wedding Singer, leading his band, Chuck Wansley After Hours for over 20 years.
In 2015 Chuck co-located to Prague to explore his love for jazz and big band swing. Passionate for R&B he also launched a 10-piece funk band in 2018. He performs regularly with his jazz quartet, guest stars at jazz festivals with big bands throughout the EU, stars in a Broadway-style show called the Original Vintage Orchestra, and continues to perform regularly as guest artist for jazz festivals throughout the USA.
I've been a drummer, a singer, a dancer, a leader, a pawn and a king
I've been up and down and in and out, and I know one thing
Each time I find myself flat on my face, I just pick myself up and get back in the race. MY life!
@chuckwansley #swing #singer #musicislife #bigband #RnB
Management & Booking
EU cell +420 601 151 988