Bill Champitto is a fiery Boston-based singer/songwriter/pianist and Hammond B3 organist whose music was aptly defined by an ardent web fan as “Soul, Funkified Jazz.”
Originally from Troy, New York, Bill started playing keyboards by ear at age 15 when two of his closest friends received a drum set and a guitar for Christmas gifts.
“My friends started to woodshed in their pool house and when I went over to check it out, I was immediately hooked! I had to be part of this!”
“One of these guys suggested I play bass, so we found a ‘gently used’ bass for $5.00 and suddenly, we had a trio.” But after a couple of weeks the group found someone who ‘could actually PLAY bass’ so Bill had to give up his gig. That's when Bill found a tabletop organ (or perhaps it found him) and a quartet was formed.
Bill devoured everything by ear--taping tons of music and woodshedding until he got it right. He even convinced the pastor of the local St. Jude Catholic Church to allow him to practice on the church's big Hammond B3.
“The nuns would chase me away, but the pastor was cool with it. I’d learn Santana solos on this organ and rock out the otherwise tranquil church,” says Bill.
Bill had great ears, no doubt and he quickly earned an audition with a local club band.
“Music saved my life. At the time I was hanging out in an area surrounded by lots of drugs and gangs and such, but music took me in another direction.”