Champian Fulton

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Champian Fulton
Champian Fulton singing.jpg
Background information
BornSeptember 12, 1985
Norman, Oklahoma, U.S.
GenresJazz, vocal jazz, swing
Occupation(s)Singer, musician
InstrumentsVocals, piano
Years active2000–present

Champian Fulton (born September 12, 1985) is an American jazz singer and pianist.


Early years[edit]

Champian Fulton in red at the TSF Jazz Radio studios, sitting at an upright piano

Champian Fulton was born in Norman, Oklahoma, in 1985.[1] Her father, Stephen Fulton, was a jazz trumpeter who was often visited by musician friends such as Clark Terry and Major Holley. At the age of five, she took piano lessons from her grandmother. After trying trumpet and drums, she returned to piano and singing. When her father was hired to run the Clark Terry Institute for Jazz Studies, the family moved to Iowa. She went to jazz summer camp, where she founded the Little Jazz Quintet. One of their performances was Clark Terry's seventy-fifth birthday party.[2]

One of her early influences was Dinah Washington, particularly the album For Those in Love, which she played often as a young girl.[3][2] She also admired Sarah Vaughan, Nat King Cole, Sonny Clark, Red Garland, Hampton Hawes, Wynton Kelly, Thelonious Monk, and Art Tatum.[2]

Fulton graduated from high school in 2003, then attended State University of New York at Purchase, where she studied with trumpeter Jon Faddis.[4] After graduating, she moved to New York City to pursue a career as a pianist and vocalist.[3]

Live performances[edit]

Champian Fulton in a red dress at a grand piano

Fulton has performed in New York City venues, including Birdland, Smalls Jazz Club, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, the Carlyle Hotel, Cleopatra's Needle, and Shanghai Jazz, New Jersey. At some of those venues she played with Jimmy Cobb, Scott Hamilton (musician), Frank Wess, Lou Donaldson, and Louis Hayes.[5][6]

She has performed at jazz festivals and events across the U.S., including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Detroit Jazz Festival, Litchfield Jazz Festival, Rochester International Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and the Chicago Humanities Festival.[5][6] Internationally, she has performed at jazz clubs, jazz festivals, and other venues, including Ascona Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival (Scotland), Sunset-Sunside Jazz Club (France), Bansko International Jazz Festival (Bulgaria), Gouvy Jazz & Blues Festival (Belgium), Jamboree Jazz (Spain), Tanjazz (Morocco), Hot Jazz (Israel), Cellar Jazz (Vancouver, Canada), Yardbird Suite (Edmonton, Canada), JazzTone (Germany), and the Ystad Jazz Festival (Sweden).[5][6]

She has worked with the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Litchfield Jazz Camp,[7] and Rutgers University. In late 2015, she joined the faculty of the Jazz Arts Academy (in association with the Count Basie Theatre Education Department) to offer workshops in jazz vocals and jazz piano during the summer.

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Rookie of the Year, The Village Voice, 2007[8]
  • Top Ten Jazz Album, Champian Sings and Swings, New York Observer, 2013[9]
  • Rising Star – Female Vocalist, Critics' Poll, Down Beat magazine, 2014[10]
  • Female Vocalist of the Year, Hot House Jazz Fan Decision Awards, 2017 [11]


As leader[edit]

  • Champian (Such Sweet Thunder, 2007)[12]
  • Sometimes I'm Happy (Venus, 2010)[13]
  • The Breeze and I (Gut String, 2011)
  • Champian Sings and Swings (Sharp Nine, 2013)[14]
  • Change Partners: Live at the Yardbird Suite (Cellar Live, 2014)[15]
  • After Dark (Gut String, 2016)[16]
  • Speechless (Posi-Tone, 2017)
  • The Things We Did Last Summer with Scott Hamilton (Blau, 2017)
  • Christmas with Champian (Champian Records, 2017) [17]
  • The Stylings of Champian (Champian Records, 2018) [18]

As guest[edit]

  • An Upper West Side Story, Tobias Gebb & Trio West with Champian Fulton (Yummyhouse, 2008)[19]


  1. ^ "The Jazz Museum in Harlem". Jazz Museum in Harlem. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Dryden, Ken. "Champian Fulton". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Playing Dinah's Dues| Champian Fulton Profile, Jan. 2015". Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2016-12-06.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. ^ "Champian Fulton At Japanalia". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Previous Appearances List| by Champian Fulton - About". Retrieved 2016-12-06.
  6. ^ a b c "Past Concert Venue Posters| by Champian Fulton - Press". Retrieved 2016-12-06.
  7. ^ Litchfield Jazz Camp, Teaching Artist – Champian Fulton [1] Retrieved 2016-12-06
  8. ^ Davis, Francis (27 November 2007). "Rookies of the Year". The Village Voice. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  9. ^ Kassell, Matthew (20 December 2013). "The Top 10 Jazz Albums of 2013". Observer. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Rising Star – Female Vocalist – 62nd Annual Critics' Poll" (.pdf). Down Beat. August 2014. p. 67. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  11. ^ Desk, BWW News. "Hot House Jazz Fans Decision Award Winners presented In Concert, Thursday, 12/14". Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  12. ^ Conrad, Thomas (1 December 2007). "Champian Fulton with David Berger & the Sultans of Swing: Champian". JazzTimes. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  13. ^ "Sometimes I'm Happy". All About Jazz.
  14. ^ Loudon, Christopher (7 May 2013). "Champian Fulton: Champian Sings and Swings". JazzTimes. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  15. ^ Yanow, Scott (4 May 2015). "Champian Fulton". JAZZIZ Magazine. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  16. ^ Blanco, Edward (20 March 2016). "Champian Fulton: After Dark". All About Jazz. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  17. ^ Jazz, All About. "Champian Fulton: Christmas With Champian". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  18. ^ Jazz, All About. "Champian Fulton: The Stylings of Champian". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  19. ^ Wilkins, Woodrow (13 June 2008). "Tobias Gebb & Trio West: An Upper West Side Story". All About Jazz. Retrieved 23 April 2017.

External links[edit]