Within Buddhist traditions, “samsara” refers to the karmic cycle of rebirth that a being must travel through on their journey towards enlightenment. While in some traditions this can take many lifetimes to complete, others maintain that, for certain exceptional people, the transformative process can happen within a single lifetime.
Saxophonist Charles Neville is an exceptional person. His story is a testament to the many lives that a single human can lead. Born into one of New Orleans most famous musical families, Charles has enjoyed a musical career that’s spanned more than 60 years. He’s the second oldest of the legendary Neville Brothers, and earned a Grammy for his work on the album Yellow Moon. Charles, his brothers and their uncle, George “Big Chief Jolly” Landry, were architects of the seminal Mardi Gras Indian funk album The Wild Tchoupitoulas… And in an earlier musical life, he backed up rhythm and blues legends like Johnny Ace, Big Maybelle, and B.B. King.
But along with these more familiar stories, Charles shared some of his other lives with us as well….