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Charles E. Askew Piano Recital at Schmitt Music Kansas City

Please join us for a special recital featuring Charles E. Askew, pianist and University of Missouri – Columbia student, at Schmitt Music Kansas City on Friday, August 10 starting at 6:00PM.

This talented pianist has a truly remarkable story. Enjoy an hour-long benefit recital of beautiful classical music and original compositions! Read more about Charles’ story below.

Seating is limited, so please let us know if you plan to attend. Call 913-663-4756 or email us at to RSVP.

An amazing story of talent, musicianship and hard-work, Charles E. Askew is entering his Senior year at the University of Missouri – Columbia in Piano Performance under Dr. Peter Miyamoto. Early in his Junior year, Charles suffered severe migraines which caused him to temporarily drop out as we tried to address the issue in multiple ways. With the spirit of determination, he returned to MU in the spring and finished the year with a 3.9 GPA. He also conquered the migraine problem, discovering that he had a severe pork allergy.

Steinway Top Piano Teacher, Joyce Berg NCTM, encountered Charles at a district High School Solo and Ensemble music contest in March, 2014 in which he performed the Chopin Posthumous Polonaise in b-flat minor beautifully. To her shock and surprise, she was told that he did not have a teacher and this was his first major contest. He taught the Chopin to himself because he could not afford a teacher.

Charles was a North Kansas City High School senior who had accomplished a great deal despite challenging circumstances. He was raised by his grandfather. At age 2 he asked for piano lessons which he received to a limited extent. He studied piano in grade school with a jazz gospel teacher. In his early teens he turned to classical music and taught himself by listening to great classical performances on Youtube. His grandfather passed away when Charles was 9. He then experienced abuse and malnutrition with his uncle who did drugs and alcohol until he moved in at age 12 with his single mother, who was mentally and emotionally challenged due to crack cocaine use. Between age 12 and 13 when he finally had a piano, he wrote his own etudes to improve his technique creating his own staff paper by hand. He attempted to tune his spinet piano with an Allen wrench. In spite of everything, it is significant that he had the initiative to train himself in classical performance and composition. He declared emancipation from his mother in July, 2014 and was welcomed in the home of local area piano teachers, Steve and Joyce Berg. He was featured in a front page article in the Kansas City Star on June 14, 2014.

You can assist Charles in achieving his music education goals by making a tax-deductible gift to his fund, managed by the North Kansas City Education Foundation. Please use the donor envelopes available at the recital, or send your gift to the Education Foundation: 2000 NE 46th Street, Kansas City, MO 64116. Or donate online: For more information, contact Jan Lewis at or at 816-321-5550.