Michigan native Charles Prophet Jr. plays tenor sax like it's nobody’s business.
He began his career at the age of 16. When Prophet was deciding his future in music, he was drawn to jazz and its language. It was a genre that communicated to people without words. Growing up, Prophet listened to a variety of artists such as Grover Washington Jr., Charlie Parker, George Benson, James Brown, Michael Jackson and Cannonball Adderley.
“Music allowed me to be myself more than anything. I definitely feel at home when I’m playing,” said Prophet.
He has been fortunate to study with Steve Wood, Wendell Harrison, Russ Miller, and De'Sean Jones and also majored in Jazz Studies at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan from 2005 to 2010.
Influenced by his environment and mentors, Prophet has felt the heavy impression Detroit has on his music.
“The city is heavily based in R&B, jazz and gospel. All of those things together help give me a definitive sound. Jazz is so unique," said Prophet. "You can play a song four times and it will be different every time you hear it."
In 2010, Prophet stepped out and put his skills to use going on a national tour with the group Lubriphonic opening for acts such as Galactic, Dumpster Funk and Bruce Hornsby.
Prophet has also shared the stage with award-winning artists such as the Four Tops, BeBe Winans, Carl Carlton, Fantasia, Fred Wesley, Vashawn Mitchell and the Temptations.
Today his musical tastes vary from funk, hip-hop, techno, alternative and soul. He draws inspiration from artists such as Maceo Parker, Grover Washington Jr., The Police, Hall & Oates and Disclosure.
Prophet continues to hold a torch for the city and music he loves while finding a way to create fresh, new music.
“As a musical city (Detroit) the legacy here is incredible. We are coming up under the people who were playing in the 60’s and 70’s and are some of the best musicians in the world. While the labels may have left, the artists are still here. Detroit is still an important place for providing talent to the world," said Prophet.