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Champian Fulton

Born in Oklahoma, Champian is considered one of the most gifted pure Jazz musicians of her generation. She grew up with music in the home; her mother and father (Jazz trumpeter and educator Stephen Fulton) recognized her fascination with music at an early age. The presence of her father’s musician friends, including Clark Terry and Major Holley, inspired her focus on Jazz. Her first paid musical engagement was with her own band at Clark Terry’s 75th Birthday Party; she was 10 years old. Since then, her piano and voice skills have been recognized by peers and critics as distinctive and sophisticated. This young woman from Oklahoma captivates audiences in New York’s finest Jazz rooms and in concert halls around the world.

A mainstay on the vibrant New York Jazz scene, she has performed with musical royalty such as Lou Donaldson, Frank Wess, Scott Hamilton, Buster Williams, and Louis Hayes. From New York to Barcelona, Champian’s swinging style and charismatic performances have made her a guardian of the legacy of Jazz. Champian’s heroes include Bud Powell, Red Garland, Erroll Garner, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, and Dinah Washington.

Jazz education is a concern near and dear to Champian’s heart, having been inspired by Clark Terry’s tireless advocacy for the perpetuation of the craft. Clark coached her on rehearsal techniques, performance etiquette, private teaching, and the business of the Jazz. Champian strives to impart this unique knowledge to students around the world, while being involved in educational programs such as Litchfield Jazz Camp and Rutgers Jazz Institute. Her skills as an educator in Jazz come from the highest authorities as she works to perpetuate the Jazz language.

Champian is ambitious about recording her music. As a leader she has fourteen recordings to her credit. Her debut album, “Champian with David Berger & the Sultans of Swing” (2007 Such Sweet Thunder Records) was recorded following a two-year residency at the famed New York Jazz Club Birdland. Her releases “Sometimes I’m Happy” (2008 Venus Records) and “the breeze and I” (2010 Gut String Records) featured her working trio. Champian’s following two releases, “Champian Sings and Swings” (2013 Sharp Nine) and “Change Partners” (2014 Cellar Live) were both recognized as being “in the top 10 releases of the year” for their respective years by the NY Observer.  Champian’s album, “After Dark” (2016) with Jazz luminaries David Williams on bass, Lewis Nash on drums, and Stephen Fulton on flugelhorn, features the music of Dinah Washington. In 2017, she published no less than three albums: a strictly instrumental album ("Speechless" - Posi-Tone), a wonderful recording with Scott Hamilton ("The Things We Did Last Summer" - Blau Records) and "Christmas with Champian" (Champian Records). Her 10th album, “The Stylings of Champian,” released in 2018 is a two disc set which was named one of the Top 5 Jazz Releases of the Year by NYC Jazz Record. 2019 saw the release of an intimate live duo recording, “Dream a Little…” with Jazz altoist Cory Weeds. Champian’s 2020 release “Birdsong” celebrating the music of Charlie Parker features Scott Hamilton. Called “buoyant” by the New York Times, “Birdsong” was featured as Album of the Week by WRTI Philadelphia, JazzFM UK, and TSF Jazz Paris. In 2021 Champian will release two albums: “Live from Lockdown” a special duo album with Stephen Fulton and “I’ll See You in My Dreams” on the Japanese label Venus, featuring her Scandinavian trio. 

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12
Album Review

Champian Fulton: Meet Me at Birdland

Read "Meet Me at Birdland" reviewed by Edward Blanco


The young and talented pianist Champian Fulton presents another enchanting album recorded live at New York's Birdland dinner jazz club simply titled Meet Me at Birdland, celebrating twenty years of performing in the Big Apple; playing the piano and lending her sultry vocals to a host of uncommon standards. Since arriving in New York in 2003, playing at Birdland has become a regular feature for the pianist, a musical home away from home. Fulton employs a world-class trio that has ...

2
Radio & Podcasts

Slide Hampton, Joe Pass, Woody Hermon & Champian Fulton

Read "Slide Hampton, Joe Pass, Woody Hermon & Champian Fulton" reviewed by Joe Dimino


From the always evolving pianist Champian Fulton, we begin the 807th Episode of Neon Jazz with a celebration of live music off her 2023 album Meet Me at Birdland. We follow that up with the legendary pianist Erroll Garner doing his rendition of “Lullaby of Birdland." From there, we dig into some vocal jazz with new music in Lauren Henderson, Roberta Donnay and Janice Borla. In between, we hear classic cuts from Slide Hampton, George Gershwin and Joe Pass. The ...

5
Album Review

Champian Fulton: Birdsong

Read "Birdsong" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Champian Fulton was introduced to alto saxophonist Charlie Parker during her stay in the womb. The New York-based pianist/vocalist's father, Stephen Fulton held a high opinion ("The most beautiful music that ever was") of Charlie Parker With Strings (Verve, 1950), so he made a cassette tape of the recording and played it during his wife Susan's pregnancy: The sound waves of Charlie Parker and Orchestra traversing maternal flesh to burst into the domain of amniotic fluid to find their way ...

3
Album Review

Champian Fulton & Cory Weeds: Dream a little...

Read "Dream a little..." reviewed by Martin McFie


As pianist and vocalist Champian Fulton says, “ A duet is a unique setting." Released from the need for arrangements, she and alto saxophonist Cory Weeds were free to roam, relaxed into the music without even drums or bass to consider. A pianist and singer is more used to the isolation of solo performance, but an alto saxophonist stands out in solo sections too. For his part in this jny:Vancouver, BC, recording, Weeds remarked, “This is a live recording made ...

2
Live Review

Champian Fulton at The Jazz Corner

Read "Champian Fulton at The Jazz Corner" reviewed by Martin McFie


Champian Fulton The Jazz Corner Hilton Head Island December 20-21, 2019 By the time Christmas comes around, those old seasonal songs are worn out. They are exhausted by overexposure in elevators, shopping malls, and streamed everywhere for a whole month of every year.  In complete contrast, a breath of sharp, fresh air breezed into The Jazz Corner, when charming Champian Fulton dropped into jny: Hilton Head island with her quartet. They stopped on their ...

8
Album Review

Champian Fulton: The Stylings Of Champian

Read "The Stylings Of Champian" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Pianist/vocalist Champian Fulton may be the most charming person in the world. Even a short sip of her extensive internet presence (especially YouTube, with performances and interviews) reveals an artist who radiates the joy of creation with a luminescent personality. Her music reflects that personality, and--like the sounds of of Bud Powell and Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong--it lifts the spirit high. And swing? Like the best of them. The Stylings of Champian is Fulton's tenth ...

7
Album Review

Champian Fulton: Christmas With Champian

Read "Christmas With Champian" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Pianist/vocalist Champian Fulton may be the only kindergartner in history to take a Charlie Parker CD into school for show and tell. The effect of her presentation on her classmates is uncertain, but  she fought the good fight. Now, almost three decades after the “Bird Goes to  Kindergarten" incident, Champian Fulton can be found on the bandstand and in the recording studio, coming into full bloom as a top tier jazz artist, with nine previous studio albums in ...

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"...the best new singer I've heard this year - make that several years." - Francis Davis, The Village Voice “A charming young steward of the mainstream jazz tradition...” Nate Chinen, THE NEW YORK TIMES "...joyfully anchored in a style that’s pure, unmannered swing; She is a superb steward of America’s own music at its best, and that’s a very welcome proposition." CABARET SCENES "[Champian] has helped keep a tradition alive not by copying the past but by simply being herself." - Scott Yanow, NYC Jazz Record "...relentlessly swinging bebop-oriented conception and chops." - David Orthmann, AAJ "...an assured vocalist with a galvanizing presence." - The New Yorker "...She's a true show-stopper." Time Out NY "...she's an authentic jazz artist..." Zan Stewart, Newark Star Ledger

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Meet Me at Birdland

Champian Records
2023

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Birdsong

Self Produced
2020

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Dream a little...

Cellar Live
2019

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The Stylings Of...

Champian Records
2018

buy

Speechless

Posi-Tone Records
2017

buy

Too Marvelous for Words

From: Meet Me at Birdland
By Champian Fulton

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