Trudy Pitts

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Trudy Pitts
Birth name Gertrude E. Pitts
Born (1932-08-10)August 10, 1932
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Origin Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died December 19, 2010(2010-12-19) (aged 78)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Genres Jazz
Instruments Organ, vocals
Years active 1950s–2000s

Trudy Pitts (August 10, 1932 – December 19, 2010), born Gertrude E. Pitts,[1] was an American soul jazz keyboardist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was known primarily for playing the Hammond B3 organ.[2]


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.[3]

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.[4] 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".[5]

In 2008, she again performed on an exceptional organ, this time the Kennedy Center's Filene Organ.

Trudy Pitts died on December 19, 2010, aged 78, from pancreatic cancer.[1]


As leader



  • 1967: Steppin' In Minor c/w Take Five (Prestige PR 45-448) Same sessions as PR 7523
  • 1968: A Whiter Shade Of Pale c/w Bucket Full Of Soul (Prestige PR 45-461)

As sidewoman

WIth Pat Martino

WIth Willis Jackson

With Roland Kirk


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "2010". Retrieved 2011-11-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Trudy Pitts at AllMusic
  3. "Trudy Pitts". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2011-11-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Trudy Pitts: The Godmother". JazzTimes. 2007. Retrieved 2011-11-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Philly's Trudy Pitts becomes the first jazz musician to play the Kimmel's Cooper organ". Philadelphia CityPaper. 2006. Retrieved 2014-11-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links