Charlie De was born in St. Michaels Hospital Newark, New Jersey. His parents Charles P. DeGeso Sr., and Anna M. DeGeso were both musicians. His father graduated from Newark Conservatory majoring in the Upright Bass Fiddle, and later performed with Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Martin. His mother played piano and had instructions during her childhood.
At the age of 4 ½, Charlie De, “picked up” piano by seeing older children play at a summer camp he had attended with his mother. When Charlie came home after camp, he went into the family music room and began playing “Heart & Soul”. His father was astonished to see his young son playing the piano at such an early age. His parents decided to have Charlie De tested and learned that he had the gift of hearing music and then being able to play the melody on the piano. They believed him to be a child prodigy and it was decided to have Charlie begin piano lessons and receive formal training in Music Theory and Harmony. After 14 years of formal training, and having gone through seven professional piano teachers, Charles’ father was advised his son was ready to perform with him and there wasn’t anything more he could be taught. Charlie had already started a semi-professional music career and by the age of 14 he had played with The Driftwoods who had backed up “The Duprees” (well known recording artists). His young career had started off well in the music entertainment industry and he went on to perform in New York at several well known clubs, The Metropole, and The Purple Onion just to mention a few. At the age of 17, Charlie was offered a recording contract. However, it was decided by his parents not to pursue this avenue. They insisted Charlie continue on with formal instructions, even though all of his previous teachers felt they had taught him everything they knew. After graduating from High School in Toms River, New Jersey, Charlie decided to enlist in the United States Navy. He was tested for his musical ability and was approved to enter into the United States Navy School of Music. He graduated with an AA degree in music and once Charlie received an Honorable discharge he returned to civilian life to pursue his career in music.
It wasn’t long afterwards that he accepted a position with a group called “The Chatters” who later became “Lock, Stock & Barrel”. He went on tour throughout the United States, which included a 12 week engagement in Las Vegas, NV.
Over the years, Charlie De has performed in some of the nicest night clubs, country clubs and restaurants throughout the United States. He has played professionally with many recording artists as well as for major recording studios.
Charlie De moved to Florida in Oct 1970 and once again began playing piano in upscale night spots and later started his own group “Déjà vu” which included a female vocalist. The group became widely known as being top entertainers in South Florida. It didn’t take more then a few months before the group added Michael James of the James Brothers and the group was booked throughout the state of Florida. They were considered a “Show Group” with high energy and had a following that club owners wanted. They performed at Cy’s Rivergate in Miami, Burt Reynolds Supper Club in Jupiter, Frankie’s on the inter-coastal in Ft. Lauderdale, just to mention a few.
Charlie De stopped playing music after almost 30 years of experience because he felt it had become a job and that he could no longer give his audience what they deserved. He had learned from his father that music is an art, and when you can’t give your audience everything you have to offer, from your heart, it’s time to quit. He stayed close to the music business by becoming a manager for a Piano Store in Boca Raton, but soon found himself performing once again as a solo artist at the Boca Tica Country Club, in Boca Raton. He just couldn’t stay away from music. It has been his life and without it he felt empty.
Over the 30 some odd years in Florida, Charlie De has performed in well over 300 night clubs, country clubs, yacht clubs and restaurants and once again he carries a following with him wherever he goes. New listeners are amazed at what he can do with his keyboard. Charlie De carries state of the art musical equipment that provides his audience with a complete, full band sound. Whether he’s singing Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett or any of the many Rat Pack fellows, or performing the Big Band Sounds, everyone will be amazed. How about Oldies but Goodies? You don’t have to be concerned about that either. The oldies are a part of his repertoire and you’ll hear back up singers included. You’ll go back in time and remember where you were when you first heard these songs. Charlie De’s repertoire in the Oldies is quite large and it doesn’t only include the #1 hits, he has put together a song list that very few entertainers have and it promises his audience a fun filled evening of dancing and pleasure. Charlie De has also added Country Music to his already large repertoire. His audience always comes first. Requests will always be played and if he doesn’t have it with him that particular night, you can rest assured, his next performance will include that song for that special person.
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