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Bill Charlap comes from a musical background and is a distant cousin to jazz pianist Dick Hyman. His mother, Sandy Stewart, is a singer who had a hit in 1962 with "My Coloring Book", while his father was Broadway composer Moose Charlap. Charlap and his mother recorded a duet album, Love Is Here To Stay. Charlap has recorded seven albums as a leader or co-leader for the Blue Note label, including two Grammy-nominated CDs: Somewhere, featuring the music of Leonard Bernstein, and The Bill Charlap Trio, Live At The Village Vanguard. For the Japanese label Venus Records he has recorded two albums as a leader, as well as eight albums as a member of the New York Trio.
Charlap began playing piano at age three. He later studied classical music, but remained most interested in jazz. He has worked with Gerry Mulligan, Benny Carter, Tony Bennett, and others. In the mid-90s, he was the musical director of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, A Celebration of Johnny Mercer, part of New York's JVC Jazz Festival. In 1995 he joined the Phil Woods Quintet.
Charlap appears at least twice a year for lengthy runs at some of the world's major jazz clubs, including the Village Vanguard with his rhythm section, consisting of Peter Washington (bass) and Kenny Washington (drums). In addition to appearing and recording with Peter Washington and Kenny Washington in the Bill Charlap Trio, since 2001 Charlap has also recorded as a member of the New York Trio for the Japanese label Venus Records. The other members of the New York Trio are bassist Jay Leonhart and drummer Bill Stewart.
Charlap replaced Dick Hyman as Artistic Director of New York's 92nd Street Y "Jazz in July" six program series after Hyman's 20th year in 2004. He married Canadian jazz pianist Renee Rosnes in New York City on August 25, 2007. The pair released an album of piano duets entitled Double Portrait on Blue Note Records/EMI.
In 2008, Charlap became part of The Blue Note 7, a septet formed that year in honor of the 70th anniversary of Blue Note Records. The group recorded an album in 2008, entitled Mosaic, which was released in 2009 on Blue Note Records/EMI, and toured the United States in promotion of the album from January until April 2009. The group plays the music of Blue Note Records from various artists, with arrangements by members of the band and his wife Renee Rosnes. Bill lives with his daughters Sophie and Vivian Charlap. He also lives with his wife Renee Rosnes and his stepson Dylan Drummond.
As a leader or co-leader 
- Along with Me (1993)
- Souvenir (1995, Criss Cross)
- Distant Star (1997, Criss Cross)
- All Through the Night (1998, Criss Cross)
- 'S Wonderful (1999, Venus Records)
- Written in the Stars (2000, Blue Note)
- 2gether (with Warren Vaché) (2001, Nagel Heyer)
- Stardust (2002, Blue Note) (different from the 2008 Venus Records album of the same title)
- Somewhere: The Songs of Leonard Bernstein (2004, Blue Note)
- Plays George Gershwin: The American Soul (2005, Blue Note)
- Rolling Stone Original(?) (2005, Blue Note) (A selection of four solo piano recordings available as downloads through iTunes and Amazon.com; the "Rolling Stone Original" title listed on these sites may be incorrect.)
- Bill Charlap & Sandy Stewart: Love Is Here To Stay (2005, Blue Note)
- Live at the Village Vanguard (2007, Blue Note)
- Double Portrait (with Renee Rosnes) (2010, Blue Note)
- I'm Old Fashioned (with Peter Bernstein & Peter Washington) (2010, Venus Records)
As a sideman 
- Dream Dancing (Arbors Records)
- Johnny Frigo's DNA Exposed! (Arbors Records)
- You Brought a New Kind of Love (Arbors Records)
The Great American Songbook, Volumes 1 & 2 (Kind Of Blue) Voyage with the Bill Charlap Trio at the Floating Jazz Festival Aboard the QE2
- Brian Lynch Meets Bill Charlap (Sharp Nine)
- Harry Allen Plays Ellington Songs with the Bill Charlap Trio (RCA Victor)
- Blues for Pres and Teddy (Swingbros)
- Back to New York
As member of The Blue Note 7 
- Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records (Blue Note Records/EMI, 2009)
As member of The New York Trio 
- Blues in the Night (Venus Records, 2001)
- The Things We Did Last Summer (Venus Records, 2002)
- Love You Madly (Venus Records, 2003)
- Stairway to the Stars (Venus Records, 2004)
- Begin the Beguine (Venus Records, 2005)
- Thou Swell (Venus Records, 2006)
- Stardust (The New York Trio & Ken Peplowski) (Venus Records, 2008) (different from the 2002 Blue Note album of the same title)
- Always (Venus Records, 2008)
- Venus Favorites (Venus Records, 2009)
- http://managramusic.com/artists/billcharlap/bio.html[dead link]
- Adler, David. "Bill Charlap: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 March 2011.