Bill Charlap, Pianist
Pianist Bill Charlap was born in New York City into a musical family, and began his piano studies at the age of three. His father, Moose Charlap, was a Broadway composer and songwriter whose credits included the score to the Mary Martin production of Peter Pan, as well as popular songs recorded by such artists as Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughan and Rosemary Clooney. His mother, Sandy Stewart, is a popular singer who toured with Benny Goodman, co-starred on TV’s Perry Como Show and received a Grammy nomination for her hit single, “My Coloring Book.” In the late ’80s, Charlap joined baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan’s Quartet and he has been the pianist in alto saxophonist Phil Woods’ Quintet since 1995.
He has also performed and recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Tony Bennett, Freddy Cole, Houston Person and Jim Hall, among others. In 1997, he formed his trio of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington. The group has recorded seven CDs including 2004’s Somewhere: The Songs of Leonard Bernstein (Blue Note), for which he received a Grammy nomination. Their most recent Blue Note release is: The Bill Charlap Trio: Live At The Village Vanguard (2007). He has twice received the pianist of the year Jazz Award from the Jazz Journalists Association.
For the last three years, Charlap has been the Artistic Director of Jazz In July, a six concert series at the 92nd Street Y’s Tisch Center for the Arts. He has produced several concerts for Jazz at Lincoln Center, and an evening of George Gershwin’s music at The Hollywood Bowl.
“Jazz pianist Bill Charlap approaches a song the way a lover approaches his beloved. When he sits down to play, the result is an embrace, an act of possession.” -Time Magazine
“Charlap scores a direct hit to the heart.” -Entertainment Weekly