Charles Perry Howze, 52, an attorney who became a well-known professional jazz pianist here, died of cancer Friday at George Washington University Hospital.

He began his second career as a musician in the early 1970s, turning a hobby into a profession. He was a soloist or orchestra member performing at a number of Washington area establishments, including the National Press Club, the Gaslight Club, the Georgetown Inn, Evans Farms Inn and the annual Manassas Jazz Festival.

Shortly before his final illness, Mr. Howze recorded an album of jazz piano solos, which is being marketed by the Horchow Collection of Dallas under the title, 'Charlie Howze on the Piano Playing Rodgers, Gershwin, Porter and Kern."

Mr. Howze was born in Danville, Va., and moved to Washington with his family as a child. He was a graduate of Western High School. He graduated from Yale University, and from the University of Virginia Law School in 1956.

He then joined the staff of the House Interstate Commerce Committee. He was staff investigator and chief counsel for the subcommittee that investigated payola scandals in the recording industry and rigged television quiz shows.

Later he was an attorney with the United States Information Agency and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.

Mr. Howze was a member of the Potomac River Jazz Club, Local 161-710 of the American Federation of Musicians, AFL-CIO, and the National Organization for Women. He was a volunteer legal advisor to NOW and the American Civil Liberties Union.

He lived in Washington.

Survivors include his wife, Dorothy, of Washington; two daughters, Susan Perry Howze and Anne Randolph Howze, both of New York City, and a brother, John, of Alexandria.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Development Fund of Yale University, 155 Whitney Ave., New Haven, Conn.