The TRAP Winter Benefit with “Pockets”
Sun, March 13, 2016
Doors: 5:30 pm / Show: 6:00 pmSOhO Restaurant and Music Club
This event is all ageshttp://www.sohosb.com/event/1049911/
— Greg Rule, Keyboard Magazine
Bill Champlin was born in Oakland, California on May 21, 1947 to a musical family. His grandparents, mother and sisters have all been singers. Bill is married to Tamara Champlin (a singer/songwriter in her own right) and is the father of three children. His youngest, Will Champlin, is building a name for himself as a prolific songwriter with a distinct sound.
Champlin’s musical career began in 1961 when he formed a band called the Opposite Six. A year later he began writing music. After forming the Sons of Champlin in 1967, he focused his songwriting talents on producing material for the Sons. “They were breathing fire. They were the most talented of all the San Francisco bands”, said Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead. The Sons’ first album, “Loosen Up Naturally”, was released in 1969, followed by six more albums before they broke up in 1977. Many of these have been re-released as CD’s and are currently available for purchase.
After the breakup of the Sons, Bill moved to Los Angeles and worked as a session lead and background vocalist on numerous recordings from 1977-1985. Some of the artists that he has worked with include Patti LaBelle, Lou Rawls, Elton John, Boz Scaggs, Donna Summer, Nancy Wilson, George Benson, Jimmy Smith, Amy Grant, Neil Diamond and Kenny Rogers. In 1978 he released “Single”, his first solo album. In 1979 he won his first Grammy award for co-writing “After the Love is Gone”, which was later recorded by Earth, Wind & Fire. During the recent Chicago/EWF tours in 2004 and 2005, Champlin was asked to perform this song with them, as lead singer.
The National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) awarded Bill the Most Valuable Player peer award for male background vocalists in 1980. In 1981 he won another Grammy for co-writing Turn Your Love Around for George Benson, and released his second solo album that year, “Runaway”. In 1982 he joined Chicago to record Chicago 16. “Bill’s exactly what we’ve been looking for,” said Chicago’s Robert Lamm. His very distinctive and expressive vocals can be heard on Chicago’s hit, “Hard Habit to Break”.
In 1988 Bill’s recording of the song, “In the Heat of the Night”, was picked up as a show opener by the television show of the same name. The following year Chicago released the song of the year, “Look Away”, featuring Champlin on lead vocals. In 1990 Bill released the critically acclaimed “No Wasted Moments”. That same year he was asked to perform two songs from “No Wasted Moments” at the Tokyo Music Festival, and was presented with their songwriter of the year award.
Next came four solo albums, “Burn Down The Night” (1992), “Through It All” (1994), “He Started To Sing” (1995) and “Mayday” (1996). In July, 1997, “Here in my Heart” topped the adult contemporary charts for Chicago, featuring Champlin on lead vocals. 1997 also saw an a capella release of “West Coast All Stars”, a project he did with Jason Scheff of Chicago, and Toto’s Bobby Kimball and Joseph Williams.
The Sons of Champlin reunited in 1997, with a loyal group of enthusiastic fans traveling great distances to see them perform. They recorded “Live At The Luther Burbank Center” in 1998, as well as “Secret” (CD and DVD) and “Hip Lil’ Dreams’ in 2002.
Bill’s newest release is the solo CD / DVD “No Place Left To Fall”. It was recorded at the Barber Shop Studios in Hopatcong, New Jersey for the DreamMakers Music label. It was first released by JVC Japan on September 24, 2008, as well as being released for digital downloading, and later released in Europe by Zink Music on December 10, 2008. The U.S. release by DreamMakers was on August 4, 2009.
With “No Place Left to Fall”, Bill Champlin made the album he was born to make, a career-defining record with an honesty and immediacy that reflect his old-school approach to music – and his complete disregard for the old-model music industry.
After 28 years with Chicago, Bili parted ways with the classic jazz/rock band to focus once again on his solo career. The announcement came on the heels of the August 4th release of “No Place Left to Fall”. “This music is callin’ me,” said Champlin.
The two-time GRAMMY® award winner then launched a successful West Coast tour beginning in November of 2009, with the Bill Champlin Band promoting “No Place Left To Fall”, followed by a Sons of Champlin tour in March, 2010. He was also invited to Norway earlier that year by the Norwegian Kringkastings Orchestra to perform with his wife, Tamara Champlin, in Oslo.
In the words of drummer, Billy Ward, “I became a Bill Champlin fan in the early seventies when he led, what was to me, a ground-breaking band, The Sons Of Champlin. He’s written and sang on probably over 400 hit songs, the later ones with the band Chicago. His organ playing has him ranked on most peoples “A” list and he plays the heck out of the guitar as well! He is one of the finest musicians I’ve ever gotten the privilege to play with.” Dennis Cook, in Jambase and Relix Magazine adds, “Age has done nothing to diminish his powers, and in fact, brings nuances to the material that a young cat just can’t muster.”
In 1965 he met the singer Flora Purim in Rio de Janeiro. Flora moved to the USA in 1967 and Airto followed her shortly after. When in New York Airto began playing with musicians such as Reggie Workman, JJ Johnson, Cedar Walton and bassist Walter Booker. It was through Booker that Airto began playing with the greats - Cannonball Adderley, Lee Morgan, Paul Desmond and Joe Zawinul, to name a few. Zawignul recommended Airto to Miles Davis for a recording session in 1970 for the "Bitches Brew" album. Davis then invited Airto to join his group, which included such jazz icons as Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland, Jack DeJohnette, Chick Corea and later John McLaughlin and Keith Jarrett. He remained with Miles for two years, and appears on such releases as "Live/Evil", "Live at the Fillmore", "On the Corner", "The Isle of Wight", "Bitches Brew" and later releases including the "Fillmore Sessions".
Following his stint with Miles Davis, Airto was invited to form the original Weather Report with Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, Miroslav Vitous and Alphonse Mouzon with whom he recorded "The Weather Report". Soon after, he joined Chick Corea's original Return to Forever group with Flora Purim, Joe Farrell and Stanley Clarke and they recorded the albums, "Return to Forever" and "Light as a Feather".
In 1974 Airto formed his first band in the U.S., "Fingers" with Flora Purim. Since then they have performed constantly all over the world and recorded their own albums for major record companies in Europe and America. Airto remains one of popular music's most in demand percussionists. His collection of instruments, along with his knack for playing the right sound at the right moment, has made him the first choice of many producers and bandleaders. His work with Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Paul Simon, Carlos Santana, Gil Evans, Gato Barbieri, Michael Brecker, The Crusaders, Chicago, and many others including contributions to movie sound tracks such as The Exorcist, Last Tango in Paris, King of the Gypsies and Apocalypse Now, represents only a small number of the musical contributions Airto has made over the last three decades.
His impact was so powerful that Downbeat magazine added the category of percussion to its readers and critic's polls, which he has won over twenty times since 1973. In the past few years he was voted number one percussionist by Jazz Times, Modern Drummer, Drum Magazine, Jazzizz Magazine, Jazz Central Station's Global Jazz Poll on the Internet, as well as in many European, Latin American and Asian publications.
He has been advancing the cause of world and percussion music as a member of the "Planet Drum" percussion ensemble, with Mickey Hart, drummer for "The Grateful Dead", and master conga player Giovanni Hidalgo and tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, along with Flora Purim, Babatunde Olatunji, Sikiru Adepoju and Vikku Vinayakram. Planet Drum won a Grammy Award in 1991 for World Music. Airto also contributed to another Grammy Award winning ensemble, "Dizzy Gillespie's United Nations Orchestra", which received the award for Best Live Jazz Album.
One of Airto's recordings for the Melt2000 label, "Killer Bees", features Herbie Hancock, Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, Mark Egan and Hiram Bullock; it was one of the most critically acclaimed albums on the European market. His solo album entitled "Homeless", on Melt2000 was released in the year 2000. It is a high-energy album with "tribal" rhythms that is shaking the dance floors around the world. Other releases on this label include the group "Fourth World" with Jose Neto and Flora Purim.
His song "Celebration Suite" was re-mixed by the DJ group "Bellini Brothers" entitled "Samba de Janeiro". The track hit #1 in the dance music charts over 26 countries around Europe, Asia and Latin America.
In 2001 when Airto recorded with Kodo, he contributed with two of his compositions: "Maracatu" and "Berimbau Jam". The song "Maracatu" was chosen to be one of the official songs for the 2002 World Cup in Asia to open the ceremonies for the event in Japan.
In September of 2002, Brazil's President Fernando Henrique Cardoso named Airto Moreira and Flora Purim to the "Order of Rio Branco", one of Brazil's highest honors. The Order of Rio Branco was created in 1963 to formally recognize Brazilian and foreign individuals who have significantly contributed to the promotion of Brazil's international relations. The order is named after Barão do Rio Branco, Brazil's Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1902 to 1912, famous for his role in negotiating the national borders of Brazil and referred as the "Father of Brazil's Diplomacy".
Airto has worked together with and had his music re-mixed by Frederic Galliano, Giles Peterson, Endemic Void, Justice, Ashley Beedle, Circadian Rhythms, Jimpster, Amon Tobin, and Max Breenen, among others.
For three years Airto was a professor at the Ethnomusicology department of UCLA, and broke new ground in musical concepts and creative energy.
Airto's latest album, "Life After That" was released on Narada Records on September 30th, 2003.
In 2006 Airto was featured on in one of the 5 CD box-set release by Chick Corea, entitled '5 Trios'. Along with Chick Corea and Eddie Gomez, they recorded the 'The Boston Three Party' at the Berklee Performance center, in Boston MA.
Currently he divides his time between recording studios, workshops and clinics, creating new projects including Video Surround Sound, as well as researching new materials for future releases, and live performances in the US, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
SOhO Restaurant and Music Club
1221 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA, 93101
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