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Charles Traeger

Charles Traeger

American jazz musician, author, and musical instrument maker
Charles Traeger
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American jazz musician, author, and musical instrument maker
A.K.A. Charles Victor Traeger, Charlie Traeger, Chuck Traeger
Was Musical instrument maker Jazz musician Author
From United States of America
Type Literature Music
Gender male
Birth 17 December 1925, New York City, New York, USA
Death 9 November 2016, Port Jervis, New York (aged 90 years)
Star sign Sagittarius
Mother: Janet (Reisner) Traeger
Father: Cornelius Traeger
Spouse: June (Savage) Traeger
Columbia School of Engineering, Columbia University, New York BS, civil engineering (-1959)
The details


Charles Traeger (17 December 1925 - 9 November 2016) was an American jazz musician (double bass) who also emerged as an author on musical instrument making. He created what became known as "Traeger Principal," which says that all elements of the bass vibrate and thus play a role, however large or small, in the sound of the instrument. 

He is also known as "Chuck" Traeger or Charlie Traeger in the jazz circuit.

Early life and education

Charles Traeger was born as Charles Victor Traeger on December 17, 1925, in New York City, to Dr. Cornelius & Janet (Reisner) Traeger.

Traeger graduated with a BS degree in civil engineering from the Columbia School of Engineering in 1959. This was after he had already established himself as a successful jazz musician in New York.


From the mid-1940s, Traeger played in New York with such acclaimed jazz musicians as Sidney BechetBunk Johnson/Matt Carey, Lester LaninSidney De ParisFreddie MooreEddie BarefieldSammy PriceArt Hodes, and Louis Armstrong. His first recordings were made in 1945. Circa 1947, he played and recorded with Bunk Johnson at Central Plaza.

In the 1950s, he was a member of Bob Wilbers Wildcats before continuing his education. In 1959, he earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Columbia School of Engineering. 

Ten years later, in 1969, Traeger opened his first stringed instrument repair shop as a luthier specializing in the acoustic bass violin. He became known in the business for being able to extract the best tone and sound out of the bass instrument. In 1977, he had a shop in Greenwich Village. 

In addition, he worked as a musician until 1995 and then authored three books (listed below) about the possibilities of technically improving the sound of the double bass.

Traeger also served on the Town of Highland, New York's Planning Board, and Board of Assessment Review for over 20 years.

Traeger's three books

Personal life

Traeger was married to his wife June (Savage) Traeger who passed on October 6, 2016.


Traeger died on November 9, 2016, in Port Jervis, New York. He was 90 years old.

To cite the article
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Article Title: Charles Traeger: American jazz musician, author, and musical instrument maker - Biography and Life
Author(s): PeoplePill.com Editorial Staff
Website Title: PeoplePill
Publisher: PeoplePill
Article URL: https://peoplepill.com/people/charles-traeger/
Publish Date: 22 Sep 2017
Date Accessed: 25 Oct 2020
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