Charles Lewis was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1933. He began performing on piano at church functions when he was only 7 years old. Some of his earliest musical influences include Oscar Peterson, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gelespie, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Nat King Cole.
Charles moved to Arizona in 1953 when he enrolled at Arizona State University. He began performing at the famous 7th Ave. Elks Club jams in 1954. He played with several bands before forming his own band, The Charles Lewis Quintet. He landed a gig at the Playboy Club in Phoenix in 1961 and has been performing for audiences ever since.