"I have been looking for a keyboard with a great feel that has enough flexibility to use digital software in a live setting for years. The Studiologic VMK 176-Plus is that and then some! It has the best action of any keyboard that I've ever owned, and gives me complete control of sounds and effects running from my laptop on stage."
Charlie Coffeen is a keyboardist based in Chicago, IL. He currently tours full-time with the 8-piece hip-hop/soul/jazz band Sidewalk Chalk as the band's leader. Sidewalk Chalk was awarded "Most Outstanding Group" at the 2012 Chicago Music Awards, and named "Best Hip-Hop Act" by the Chicago Reader in 2010. The group has shared stages with D'Angelo, ?uestlove, De La Soul, Action Bronson, Jean Grae, and Hiatus Kaiyote, among other notables. Their sophomore album received high praise from numerous press outlets:
"There is some serious Native Tongues flavor injected into this well-rounded 8-piece of Mid-Western funk" - Okayplayer
"...it's easy to sample Charles Mingus, but it's far harder to make music that Mingus would have liked." - Afropunk
"While many Chicago bands strive hard for originality, it's unlikely that any of them could best Sidewalk Chalk..." - Jessica Hopper, Chicago Tribune
Charles is also an in-demand sideman, arranger, and studio musician in Chicago, having acted as music director for Brother Ali, and performed with Buddy Guy, Isaiah Sharkey, and many others. Charles is a member of The Gala artists collective in Chicago, and is adjunct faculty at Columbia College, teaching Hip-Hop: A Sonic History.