Basic Background Info

Birth: May 24, 1937
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Band: Super Trio, Drum Legends, Jazz Power
Genres: Jazz, Swing
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician


As a young man, Charly Antolini started his drumming career playing the Basler drum, a traditional Swiss marching snare. When Charly Antolini was nineteen, he traveled to Paris and played with Sidney Bechet, Bill Coleman, Oscar Klein, Albert Nickolas, and Werner Keller. He frequently performed in high-profile festivals across Europe.  Next Charly Antolini moved to Stuttgart, Germany, and played with Peter Witte and Horst Jankowski under Erwin Lehn. Charly Antolini recorded with swing and bebop musicians like Roy Eldrige, Earl "Father" Hines, Buddy de Franco, Jimmy Giuffre, Dusko Goykovich, Art Van Damme, Art Farmer, Baden Powel, Albert Mangelsdorff, Wolfgang Dauner, Stuff Smith, and Oliver Nelson. 

In 1976 Charly Antolini established his own band, Charly Antolini’s Jazz Power with Steve Hooks, Andrei Lobanov, David Gazarov, and Rocky Knauer. They played all over Europe, stopping at nearly every prominent jazz club.

In the 1980s Charly Antolini toured Europe with stars such as Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Barbara Dennerlein, Albert Mangelsdorff, Earl Hines, Roy Eldridge, Jimmy Giuffre, Art Farmer, Oliver Nelson, Art Van Damme, Stuff Smith, and Baden Powell. Charly Antolini played with Benny Goodman in a series through Germany and Italy, as well as in the legendary televised concert from Copenhagen.

In the next ten years Charly Antolini worked closely with Dick Morrissey recording three live albums. In 1994 he created Super Trio with Dick Raufeisen and Jimmy Woode.

In 2004 Charly Antolini, Herman Rarebell, and Pete York created the trio, Drum Legends, and recorded both a live CD and DVD.

Charly Antolini’s work is characterized by power, stamina, passion, and incredible technique. But the backbone of Charly's work is pure swinging rhythm. He currently lives in Munich, Germany, though he tours regularly.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1956 B.G. World Wide: Bangkok, 1956/Basel, 1959/Santiago... Benny Goodman
1959 Nova Bossa: Red Hot on Verve Various Artists
1965 Cicero's Chopin Eugen Cicero
1965 Eugen Cicero in Town Eugen Cicero
1966 Drum Beat Charly Antolini
1968 Soul Beat Charly Antolini
1969 Reith On!: The Legendary MPS Sessions Dieter Reith
1970 Stuff Smith Memorial Album Stuff Smith
1971 Charly Antolini Charly Antolini
1972 In the Groove Charly Antolini
1972 Many Moods of Art Art VanDamme
1973 Kids Tremble Charly Antolini
1973 Rokoko Jazz Charly Antolini
1979 Knock Out Charly Antolini
1979 Power Charly Antolini
1979 Zoom: The Legendary MPS Sessions Volker Kriegel
1981 Crash Charly Antolini
1982 Menue Charly Antolini
1994 Masterpieces The Singers Unlimited
1996 Reference Highlights, Vol. 1-2 Various Artists
1996 Switzerjazz: Rheinknie Session Various Artists
1997 Chicago Blues Live, Vol. 1 Various Artists
1997 Timeless Blues Klein/Nussolini/Gnetter/Antolini
1998 Magic Voices Singers Unlimited
1999 Between or Beyond the Black Forest Various Artists
1999 Blue Noise Session Jeanie Lambe
1999 Fantastic! Outstanding! Incredible! The Tremble Kids All Stars
1999 Steamers! The Danny Moss and Roy Williams Quintet
2000 Between or Beyond the Black Forest: MPS Classics Various Artists
2000 Ellington For Lovers: Duke's Most Romantic Songs Various Artists
2000 Keeper of the Flame Danny Moss Quartet
2000 State of Art Art Van Damme
2001 Knock out 2000 Charly Antolini
2002 Berlin 1980 Benny Goodman
2002 Psychedelic Underground, Vol. 7 Various Artists
2002 Steampower Danny Moss
2003 Catch Up Catch Up
2006 Moonglow: Oscar Klein's Anniversary Band Various Artists
2007 Drum Legends: Rarebell/York/Antolini Rarebell/York/Antolini
2008 Count Down Charly Antolini Percusion Ensemble
2008 Happy Afternoon Dieter Reith
2008 Stratus Charly Antolini


  • Charlie lives by Duke Ellington's infamous phrase, "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing."

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Ludwig
Cymbals: Sabian, Paiste
Hardware: Ludwig
Sticks: Ludwig

Pics & Clips