A native of the State of Ohio, tenor Charles Kessler Sullivan received his musical training at Morgan State University, located in Baltimore, MD. During his studies he toured internationally with and was often a featured tenor soloist with the famed Morgan State University Choir under the leadership of the celebrated Director and Composer, Dr. Nathan Carter. While at Morgan State, he studied voice with the renowned bass, Joseph Eubanks. He later went on to study voice with the legendary baritone William Ray at the Peabody Preparatory, and with the distinguished baritone and international concert artist, Daniel Comegys.
Inspired and encouraged by his mentor and voice teacher, Charles has returned to full-time pursuit of traveling around the globe singing a broad musical repertoire. He has performed with regional opera companies and, along with his past work in opera and oratorio, he has also performed as a member and soloist with the National Ensemble, touring with them throughout North America. Charles has performed numerous vocal concerts in many different genres of music. A powerful and multifaceted singer, in the last few years, he has performed more than 2500 times, covering a wide spectrum of the vocal arts.
The Great American Songbook: Charles the embodiment of the American Songbook sound. He is the epitome today of the class of Ella, Sarah, Frank, Nat, Tony, and all the greats that have come before him. Hear him sing music written by notable composers, many distinguished songwriters, and those songs made famous by memorable Big Bands, Great Singers, and many other celebrated performers. His repertoire includes songs made famous by Julie Andrews, Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Sam Cooke, Bing Crosby, Bobby Darin, Sammy Davis Jr., Doris Day, Fats Domino, Billy Eckstine, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Mario Lanza, Dean Martin, Tony Martin, Johnny Mathis, Patti Page, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, Sarah Vaughn, Andy Williams, and many other celebrated singers.
Classical Music, Hymns & Sacred Songs: Charles’ expressive voice, rich tone and masterful interpretation encompass the very soul of the wonderful musical genre of Classical Music from Opera and Neapolitan favorites to Art Songs, beautiful Hymns and Sacred Masterpieces, which are included in his concert repertoire. In each area of these classic songs he seems to move with simplicity from a powerful and resonant forte to a gentle pianissimo scarcely perceptible, without conceding for a moment the rare clarity of his tone.
* Art Songs: Charles brings an artistic quality to the presentation of Lied and Art Songs. He sings commendably: Unreservedly, expressively, sensitively, openly portraying the emotion of each note and each sound with full, unforced tones like the stroke of a painters brush. His concerts are a welcome reflection that this music is not merely the presentation of historic songs, but the crystallization in art of the spirit of great song writers, great prose, and simply beautiful music.
* Opera: Enjoy wonderful arias from Opera’s like Cosi Fan Tutte, Die Zauberflote, Don Giovanni, Fedora, Gianni Schicchi, Griselda, La fanciulla del West, L’Elisir D’Amore, Manon, Manon Lescaut, Paride ed Elena, Rigoletto, Tosca, Werther, and much more.
* Sacred Songs: Hear beautiful songs like Ave Maria, Amazing Grace, Great is Thy Faithfulness and How Great Thou Art, and Oratorio Songs from The Crucifixion, Elijah, The Magnificat, The Messiah, The Ordering of Moses, The Seasons, The Seven Last Words (Stainer), Stabat Mater (Rossini), The St. John & St. Matthew Passions (J. S. Bach) , and many more. Hear the works of great composers and songs that touch the heart.
Historical Portraits: Charles’ Historical Portrait Concerts tell the stories of extraordinary people and gives a brief glimpse of the path of their lives; covers a specific time period or specific events in their lives, and gives insight into their valuable contribution to the world and history. It is a concert event that includes dramatic presentation of the spoken word (general dialogue, poetry, great writings and speeches), along with the historical figures “self commentary” about their life, and all intertwined with songs that fit perfectly within the saga of their journey.
Jazz: Take a trip with Charles through music from the Big Band Sound to Classic and Modern Jazz. From high energy movement to sultry and smooth sounds, enjoy the many moods of Charles Sullivan as he sings many historic jazz standards.
Negro Spirituals: In the tradition of the Fisk Jubilee Singers of Fisk University (Nashville, Tennessee, 1867), Hampton Institute Singers (Virginia, 1872), the Tuskegee Institute Choir (Alabama), and later choirs like Wings Over Jordan; and past illustrious singers like Roland Hayes, Marian Anderson, Mahalia Jackson, Dorothy Maynor, Paul Robeson and William Warfield; and magnificent modern singers like George Shirley, Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman; hear Charles carry on, with extraordinary musical sensitivity, realism and emotion, that tradition of songs that move the spirit and stir the blood, from the rich treasure of this historic genre of music.
Signature Performances (Vocal Portraits & Narratives of Great Singers): These are the ultimate Once In A Lifetime series of concerts recreating some of the music sung by Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Nat King Cole, and many other of the world's greatest vocalists and singing stars of the 20th century. Each of these concerts encompasses the spirit of the particular singer, as Charles tells you the story of theirs lives while bringing you song after song from their outstanding repertoire of music.
Songs of America: Charles Sullivan also performs a host of American Folk and Patriotic Songs in his concert repertoire. His versatility combined with his exceptional musicianship, stylish stage presence and uncommon dramatic acting abilities enable him to present the tremendous range of American Songs.
From “Ave Maria” and “Che Gelida Manina” to “It Had To Be You” and “Unforgettable,” Charles’ singing and artistic presentations of celebrated songs are incomparable; it is something that one must experience. The remarkable Charles Sullivan communicates across multiple genres of music a better than vocally vibrant and classically powerful, stimulating and sophisticated style. He has an incredibly cool, historically mindful yet charming sound, exploiting a diverse musical persona. With phrasing like that of an instrumentalist, he is a multi-talented artist and entertainer with a voice like liquefied mahogany.
Finally, whether singing American Standards or modern popular songs, his vocal presentations can be evocative of a sleek and stylish metro-lounge atmosphere where music and the visual arts converge, creating a magical environment for performances to remember, and the essence of the majestic sound reverberates around the planet, whether performance take place in the brightness of early day, the dusk of the evening, or the beauty of night-time starlight. Interest in Charles Sullivan’s concerts and life story continues to grow as people young and old discover his singing as well as his role as a quiet catalyst for vocal performances that cover the wide breadth of musical periods and styles in one afternoon or evening concert. The arc of Charles’ life is a study in success despite adversity, and the triumph of commitment to a dream, respect and care for each audience, and raw talent in equal measure with historic, cultural and creative musical savvy.