Charnett Moffett grew up in a musically active household. His father, the renowned jazz drummer Charles Moffett Sr., was a member of Ornette Coleman’s trio of the mid 1960s as well as leader of the Moffett Family Band. (Charnett’s name is a contraction of both Charles and Ornette). As a child prodigy, Charn'ett first appeared on record at the age of seven in 1974 with the Moffett Family Band and the following year toured Japan with the group. After attending Fiorello H. La Guardia H. S. for the Music and Arts in New York City, he studied at Mannes College of Music and obtained a scholarship to study at the Juilliard School of Music. Moffett joined Wynton Marsalis’ quintet in 1983 at the age of 16 and later appeared on the influential, Grammy Award-winning 1985 recording Black Codes From the Underground. During the ‘80s he also worked with guitarist Stanley Jordan, the Manhattan Jazz Quintet and
drummer Tony Williams.