Cultural Percussionist

Trudy Pitts Day

Gertrude E.TrudyPitts (August 10, 1932 – December 19, 2010) was an American soul jazz keyboardist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was known primarily for playing the Hammond B3 organ.

Trained as a musician and a music educator, Pitts studied at the Philadelphia Musical Academy, Temple University and Juilliard, as well as other institutions. Early work experience included a position as an assistant to the pianist in the Tony Award-winning musical Raisin.

At the end of the musical’s tour, she was encouraged by her husband (who had worked with Shirley Scott as a drummer) to continue developing her repertoire.

In 1967, the Boston Globe printed a piece calling her a rising star and complimented her drawbar variation, vibrato shadings, and bass pedal work. Her husband, William Theodore Carney II (born 1925), aka “Mr. C.”, often joined her on the drums.

Trudy Pitts eventually went on to play with Ben Webster, Gene Ammons, and Sonny Stitt.[1] She recorded four albums for Prestige Records, appearing with Willis Jackson among others. In 1999, a compilation album of several records was released as Legends of Acid Jazz, Trudy Pitts & Pat Martino. Recent festival appearances include the 11th Annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in May 2006. On September 15, 2006, Pitts was the first jazz artist play a concert on Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center’s 7,000 pipe organ, “taking the medium to a whole new level”.

Share this post

Leave a Comment