Remembering Trudie Pitts

August 10, 1932 – December 19, 2010

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Gertrude E. “Trudy” Pitts (August 10, 1932 – December 19, 2010) was a soul jazz keyboardist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was known primarily for playing the Hammond B3 organ and studied at the Philadelphia Musical Academy, Temple University and Julliard, as well as other institutions.

Trudy Pitts early work experience included a position as an assistant to the pianist in the Tony Award-winning musical “Raisin”. She eventually went on to play with Ben Webster, Gene Ammons, and Sonny Stitt and recorded four albums for Prestige Records, appearing with Willis Jackson among others. 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”

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