Charleston Sarjeant Jr is a steel pannist, keyboardist, percussionist, arranger and composer based in Boston, Massachusetts. For nearly 25 years, beginning at the age of 8, he has been on the forefront of New England’s steel pan scene, first as a “child prodigy” and continuing today as a leader, educator and representative of the art form.
Charleston began playing steel pan under the tutelage of his mother, Debra “Sista D” Sarjeant. By 1998 he was arranging and directing for local steel bands. In 2001, he formed his own group, Pan United, which immediately became recognized as one of the top steel bands in the Boston area. Charleston received many awards and commendations for his work with Pan United including in 2005 a citation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives for “promoting steel pan and music culture in the inner city”. That same year, he was hired by the Boston Public Schools to start a steel pan program and to teach in it, which he did for over 10 years.
Charleston plays in the Dis-N-Dat Band, in which he has been the full time keyboardist since 2006. The band enjoys performing and touring many festivals across the United States and have many engagements in the New England area. They have backed numerous international reggae artists including Anthony B, Queen Ifrica and Everton Blender. The band was recently nominated for the 2018 Boston Music Awards’ “International Artist of the Year”.
Currently Charleston is arranging and directing the 15 member steel band, Heavenly Fire, based out of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He looks forward to breathing life into Boston’s steel pan scene with this group of young people.