Charles has appeared on recordings by some of Louisiana’s most respected Swamp Pop, Cajun and Zydeco artists. Warren Storm, Wayne Toups, Hadley J. Castille, Rod Benard, Lil’ Alfred, Johnnie Allen, Hunter Hayes, KeKe Bourque, Willie Tee, Kenny Wayne, and Rocket Morgan to name a few.
He was a member of the Capitol / Virgin Nashville recording act River Road for 10 years, during which time had the opportunity to open up for major acts like Tanya Tucker, Trace Adkins, Ronnie Milsap, Toby Keith, Doug Stone, Darrel Worley, Keith Urban, and many others.
Charles began taking lessons in fifth grade, from a nun. “She was about 4’5″, 103 years old and carried a yardstick,” he recalls. She schooled him in Bach and Schubert before he left to learn piano from a local honky-tonk player. That man taught him to play from the gut, as well as showing all those fancy flourishes that the nun frowned on. He later attended Louisiana State University to study music composition, and went on to play in a number of R&B bands. He worked with Tony Ardoin in the Top 40 band Misbehavin’ and joined up with him again a few years later in River Road.
Dr. John, Ray Charles, Floyd Cramer, Vince Gill, Bruce Hornsby and Jerry Lee Lewis … these are just a few of the many artists that have influenced Charles. On a typical Charles Ventre gig, expect to hear anything from Last Date (Floyd Cramer) to Let’s Get It On (Marvin Gaye) and everything in between.