"Arguably the best piano-playing singer and best singing pianist in jazz... takes a colorful, sometimes misty, sometimes wry, sometimes joyous line by line approach on the mic and a steady, precise stroll on the piano..."
– NY Music Daily
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 twelve recordings to her credit. Her debut album, "Champian with David Berger & the Sultans of Swing" was recorded following a two-year residency at the famed New York Jazz Club Birdland. Her releases "Sometimes I'm Happy" and "the breeze and I" featured her working trio. Champian's following two releases, "Champian Sings and Swings" and "Change Partners" 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" 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") a wonderful recording with Scott Hamilton ("The Things We Did Last Summer" - Blau Records) and "Christmas with Champian".
Champian’s 2018 release, "The Stylings of Champian" is a two disc set that was named one of the Top 5 Jazz Vocal releases of the year by the NYC Jazz Record, alongside Cecile McLorin Salvant and Kat Edmonson. In 2019 "Dream a Little" was released featuring a live duo concert by Champian and Cory Weeds. In 2020 Champian expects to release "Bird Song", a celebration for Charlie Parker's Centennial, featuring Scott Hamilton on tenor.
Recognized as a Rising Jazz Star by the Downbeat Magazine Critic's Poll, Champian was also named Pianist and Vocalist of 2019 by Hot House Magazines Readers Poll. Her "galvanizing presence" (the New Yorker) and her alluring musical presentation have made her "a charming young steward of the mainstream Jazz tradition." (The New York Times)
"[Champian’s 'Speechless'] is jazz as party music and entertainment: it’s anything but rote or slick. There’s a jubilant, fearlessly improvisational quality to these songs."
– New York Music Daily
"Fulton’s voice is deep and resonant, her phrasing nuanced and stylized in the way of traditional jazz singers. But her persona is modern and upbeat."
– The New York City Jazz Record
"...the best new singer I've heard this year - make that several years."
– Francis Davis, The Village Voice
"Champian Fulton swings! She’s a fine singer and a highly skilled pianist with impeccable taste in tunes. Champian’s also a refreshingly warm and gracious stage presence. It’s been my pleasure to feature her music on Jazz a la Mode over the past 5 years, and to see her whenever she’s in the area."
– Tom Reney, New England Public Radio
"As a pianist, Fulton, a dexterous, imaginative player, blends beautifully with the astute Scott Hamilton (tenor saxophone). Their shared inventiveness is evident across everything…"
-Jazz Times, reviewing "the things we did last summer"