Champian Fulton

Jazz Pianist and Vocalist

Champian in Newport Beach a Success!

Pianist/vocalist Champian Fulton hails from New York City, NY. She is a newer artist here at Sunset Jazz at Newport, now in the tenth season of this outdoor series. She is well-known for her jazz work, even though newer to us here in CA. She has a very good following and many fine credits throughout her career. Her trio had a strong rhythm section with Mike Gurrola (bass) and Kevin Kanner (drums). Special guest was Andy Martin on trombone. Good friend, Terence Love (Steamers), suggested to Joe Rothman and John McClure after hearing Ms. Fulton that they should definitely do a booking of her for the series. This concert was very well attended. The outdoor concerts have a special significance and natural ambiance that is enjoyed by all attending.

Wednesday evening, July 31, 2019, Fulton’s group brought an excellent tune, “Day by Day” for an impressive beginning. Her touch on the piano is very definite and accentuated. Trombonist Andy Martin, added greatly with his playing, blending excellently with the trio. Continuing, she sang a sweet number, “I Cried for You,” backing herself on piano and with the trio as well. The rhythm section, Gurrola and Kanner, was tight! This was the first time these two have performed together. Fulton’s voice is illustrious. She expresses the lyric with passion and pizzazz. A moving bass solo by Gurrola played well and got much applause. Kanner’s drumming, with shared 8 bar breaks, also received notable applause.

A favorite of Fulton’s is “Lollypops and Roses.” Her lovely full chords filled this number nicely. Martin’s trombone also made this tune shine.
The trio, only, played another tune of Fulton’s favorite and her composition, “Lullaby for Art,” a medium up-tempo gem that drove forward impressively. She is an interested fan of late-great Art Blakely’s jazz music.
Other tunes for this set were: “Mad About the Boy” and “Traveling Light,” a Dinah Washington staple.

The second set began with “You Turned the Tables on Me.” Fulton shows a definite ‘stride’ effect in her piano playing. It is sturdy and very evident in many tunes she performs. The song,“Baubles, Bangles and Beads,” is a longtime 1953 standard from the musical “Kismet.” Fulton’s voice is wonderful. The melodies are Alexander Borodin’s. Her version was very smooth and a delight for her audience this evening. She continued with “Darn That Dream,” excellent rendition and beautiful trombone work, again, from Andy Martin. Concluding this two set show were: “”Somebody Stole My Gal,” an upbeat creation and a big drum solo by Kevin Kanner. Featuring bassist Mike Gurrola, doing a start of bass lines for “All of Me,” Fulton sang this one, then added her own piano accompaniment, then Kanner (drums) and Martin (T-Bone) moving through this beautiful number. Gurrola’s bass lines were “right in the pocket” for the entire tune. Last two closing tunes were, first, a Eubie Blake number, “I’d Give a Dollar for a Dime.” Martin was showcased with his fine trombone backing along with Fulton’s ‘stride’ piano playing fashioned in this piece. The final number was “It’s All Right with Me,” (Cole Porter), for the trio and guest trombone master, Andy Martin. The Champian Fulton group received a well-deserved standing ovation.
This show was a definite success.

Please visit Fulton’s website: www.champian.net. I am hopeful she will be able to perform again another time at Sunset Jazz at Newport. This was the fourth of eleven concerts for the tenth year anniversary for this marvelous series. Check this website regularly: www.sunsetjazzatnewport.com.

By Glenn A. Mitchell

Study with Champian!

Champian teaching a piano masterclass

Private Lessons with Champian

Study Jazz piano, Jazz singing, improvising, Jazz history etc with Champian in the privacy of your own home via Skype (or FaceTime). ALL instruments and levels welcome. To schedule your lesson, please email Champian (champian.fulton@gmail.com)

Lessons are $125 for one hour and must be paid in advance of scheduled lesson.

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Champian Shares her Desert Island Picks on KCSM - Listen now!

What music would you wish you had if you were stranded on a desert island? Discover Champian’s picks as she joins Alisa Clancy on KCSM to discuss her favorite music and more in this hour long interview.

The interview opens with music from Champian’s latest release, “The Stylings of Champian” —> check that out here.

Not all these records are readily available on streaming services!! If you need help finding more information about any of the records listed here, write to Champian on facebook / twitter / instagram

Thank you KCSM!!! Support your local Jazz radio station!

To view the “Castaway" page on KCSM please click here

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Champian’s Favorite Music Featured in this Interview:

1) Woody Shaw - “Spiderman Blues” from Setting Standards

2) Red Garland - “Almost Like Being in Love” from Red Garland’s Piano

3) Freddie Hubbard - “the Things We Did Last Summer” from The Hub of Hubbard

4) Dinah Washington - “Show Time” from Compact Jazz Dinah Washington

5) Charlie Parker - “Just Friends” from Bird with Strings

6) Dexter Gordon - “Tangerine” from Tangerine

7) Erroll Garner - “I’ve Got the World On a String” from The Original Misty

8) Sphere - “Quasimodo” from Bird Songs (Sphere: Charles Rouse on tenor, Kenny Barron on piano, Buster Williams on bass and Ben Riley on drums)

Other Recommended Listening from Champian’s Desert Island

Count Basie - “You Can Depend on Me” from the Complete Decca Recordings

Clark Terry - “Angel Eyes” from Clark After Dark

Listen to Champian on "The Jazz Session" podcast, Live now!

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Pianist and vocalist Champian Fulton returns to the show to discuss her 10th album, The Stylings of Champian. In this interview, Champian talks about her very busy touring schedule and how she maintains it; the band reunion that led to the new album; her approach to selecting repertoire; and more. Learn more and find tour dates at http://www.champian.net/, and listen to her previous appearance on The Jazz Session here.

http://thejazzsession.com/2019/04/15/the-jazz-session-478-champian-fulton/

Catch Champian on Tour this Spring!!

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Catch Champian on tour this spring as she celebrates the release of “The Stylings of Champian”, her 10th and most celebrated release yet. Tour stops include London, Barcelona, Paris, Vancouver, Vienna and more.

Use #ChampianLive to share your pics and videos on all social media platforms!

For tickets & info visit www.champian.net/schedule

Champian is thrilled to announce a 30+ concert spring tour celebrating her new album, “The Stylings of Champian”. Named one of the Top 5 Albums of the Year (2018) by the NYC Jazz Record, “the Stylings of Champian” is a 2 disc set featuring Champian’s spin on many Jazz classics including “I Only Have Eyes for You”, “Lollipops and Roses” and a great arrangement from Buster Williams of “I DIdn’t Know What Time It Was”. Ken Dryden (All About Jazz) writes: “There are some surprises as well, such as her romp through Oscar Peterson’s “Blues Etude” and soulful setting of Cedar Walton’s lesser-known “Martha’s Prize”. It’s easy to understand how she has grown a loyal fan base with outstanding efforts like this release. “ Champian will also be performing several concerts with famed saxophonist Scott Hamilton in Switzerland and France.

“Her vocal style is a unique amalgamation of the straight-ahead and the experimental, alternately declamatory and lyrical, off-beat and swinging, devoted to the song itself and determined to express her uniqueness–imagine listening simultaneously to Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone singing the same song.” -CD Hot List "

“The Stylings of Champian” is available on all Digital Platforms. Physical Copies are available from champian.net, Amazon and CDBaby. Click Here to Listen.



People are LOVING "The Stylings of Champian"

“[Champian’s] voice is a little bit of heaven here on earth. Subservient to each song (as it should be), she takes lyrics and makes them all into one-act vignettes, believable, honest, imbued with a veracity that transcends the art of vocalese into a kind of personal communication that will resonate deep in your soul. “ Mike Greenblatt for “The Aquarian”


“I think I’ve finally put my finger on what it is that I find so entrancing about Champian Fulton’s artistry: it’s how she manages, against all odds, to be so many things at once. Her vocal style is a unique amalgamation of the straight-ahead and the experimental, alternately declamatory and lyrical, off-beat and swinging, devoted to the song itself and determined to express her uniqueness–imagine listening simultaneously to Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone singing the same song, and you’ll get a general idea of what I’m talking about. There are very few singers who can make hoary standards like “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” and “Body and Soul” entirely their own, and she is one of them. But then there’s her piano playing, which is every bit as playfully inventive and rhythmically surprising as her singing, while at the same time swinging so powerfully that it’s hard to sit still while listening. On her latest album she leads a brilliant trio that includes bassist Hide Tanaka and drummer Fukushi Tainaka, with her father Stephen on flugelhorn for several tracks as well. The program is all standards, with a focus on tunes by Oscar Peterson and Cedar Walton, and there’s not a weak track to be heard. Yet again, she delivers an essential purchase for all jazz collections.” - CD Hot List


Dan McLenaghan for All About Jazz

“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 album—a two disc, eighty-five minute exploration of the time-tested Great American Songbook tunes and jazz standards. 

Listening to the disc's opener, the much-covered "Day By Day," it's hard to believe that, early on in her career, Fulton considered dropping the vocal side of her artistry to concentrate on her piano playing. But that didn't happen, and "Day By Day" says that's a very good thing. Supremely assured, she has developed a clean and precise articulation combined with exquisite phrasing. 

"Lollipops and Roses" is not a song you'll encounter everyday in the jazz experience. The lyrics are advice for dealing with a temperamental woman. Fulton imparts this guidance with such good humor and grace (The Champian Charm) that it could be the set's highlight. And throw in a superb and concise piano solo. 

With eighty-five minutes, there is plenty of room for instrumentals: A terrific take on Oscar Peterson's "Blues Etude," along with "Rodeo," from the pen of her father, Stephen Fulton, who sits in of flugelhorn on seven of the disc's fourteen tunes; and an ebullient rendition of Cedar Walton's "Martha's Place," and a high-energy take on "All The Things You Are," featuring Fulton cooking over a high flame with his flugelhorn. 

Another highlight: "Body and Soul," with a phantasmal and fluid bass/vocal duet from Hide Tanka and Fulton.” - Dan McClenaghan for All About Jazz


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“the high point of Champian’s career so far…..Fulton’s knowing vocals and improvisational flair are as cutting-edge as anything happening in the avant garde. To paraphrase JD Allen,, sometimes the most radical thing you can do these days is swing.” - New York Music Daily

“Her vocals are largely smooth and sophisticated. her phrasing superb and most of all, her instinct for jazz deeply part of her DNA. “ Marilyn Lester, NYC Jazz Record

“There's a lot of experience in her voice, which is flecked with Blossom Dearie's casual sophistication and hip intimacy. A bit of Billie Holiday and Betty Carter note-bending as well. “ - Mark Myers, JazzWax.com

“Fulton’s delightful piano is highlighted on “Martha’s Prise” and “Blues Etude”. Her place in any contemporary list of great vocalists is secured by her interpretations of the clever “Lollipops and Roses”, and “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was.” -Joe Bebco for the Syncopated Times

“A voice with a youthful freshness and a perfectly mastered phrasing allow her to develop with a natural line of singing with a beautiful scale. This is particularly apparent in her way of detailing with a consummate sense of interpretation and an obvious artistic maturity the melody of Darn That Dream on slow tempo. More than a welcome addition to her singing, her energetic piano playing swings with naturalness and brilliance. Obviously, Champian Fulton  caught the best while listening to the great keyboard masters Bud Powell, Red Garland, Wynton Kelly and Erroll Garner. Her line up, Hide Tanaka (double bass), Fukushi Tainaka (drums) and Stephen Fulton (bugle), the latter on some titles, do a remarkable job.” - CouleursJazz

"The Stylings of Champian" is a treat from start-to-finish, filled with strong songs and excellent musicianship.  Champian Fulton is both a delightful pianist and an evocative, assured, singer, never just "going through the motions" to show off her "chops" but making each song her own.  This, her 10th album, is well worth exploring and enjoying!” Step Tempest

“The Stylings of Champian, a two-disc set of standards perfectly suited to her lilting voice and classic jazz sound…Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart never sounded happier.” Suzanne Lorge, New York City Jazz Record

“a bluesy singing style with relaxed phrasing and a swinging delivery. 3.5 Stars” Scott Yanow, Downbeat

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“The Stylings of Champian” was named in the Top 5 Vocal Releases of 2019 in the NYC Jazz Record alongside Cecile McLorin Salvant, Cyrille Aimee and Kat Edmonson.


Ken Dryden for the NYC Jazz Record (February 2019)

It’s hard not to admire an artist like Champian Fulton. Immersed in jazz through her father, jazz educator Stephen Fulton, she was already singing in public at a tender age. While her jazz education at SUNY Purchase was dominated by piano with the demanding Hal Galper as her instructor, she vowed to pursue both singing and playing piano. She’s a self-starter as well, as she has been a leader from day one of her career. This two-CD set is unusual: Disc One has around 55 minutes of music yet Disc Two has only 28; since it is priced like a single CD, think of it as a bonus disc. Her trio with bassist Hide Tanaka and drummer Fukushi Tainaka has been together since 2004 and her father guests on several tracks playing flugelhorn. Most of the album is devoted to familiar standards, but Fulton finds fresh ways to approach many of them.

Her striking vocals float over a swinging take of Harry Warren-Al Dubin’s “I Only Have Eyes For You”, spiced by her father’s Clark Terry-flavored solo. The leader’s bop chops are prominent in the brisk setting of Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein’s “All The Things You Are” while Buster Williams’ hip arrangement of Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart’s “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” and a dramatic interpretation of the often recorded Johnny Green-Edward Heyman-Robert Sour- Frank Eyton standard “Body And Soul” (accompanied only by inventive bass) are ample proof of her willingness to take chances.

There are some surprises as well, such as her romp through Oscar Peterson’s “Blues Etude” and soulful setting of Cedar Walton’s lesser-known “Martha’s Prize”. It’s easy to understand how she has grown a loyal fan base with outstanding efforts like this release.


“Fulton has a small voice and there are times I’m reminded of Carmen McRae, Patty Waters and even Slim Gaillard. Having written that—no one would mistake her for any one of them. She takes liberties with lyrics, stretches out lines and at a moments notice changes tempos. She is fine pianist and the rest of the rhythm section is fluid and totally in the spirit and on top of things. On about half of the 14 titles, Stephen Fulton joins the trio on flugelhorn to great advantage. He is obviously influenced by Clark Terry and that bubbly sound is welcome to these already wondrous sounds.” - Cadence Magazine

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