Trudy Pitts is a native Philadelphian who began playing piano at age six. Her mother was also a musician and inspired this family tradition. Ms. Pitts later helped with the senior choir during the main services and from there went on to her own church choirs in various other settings. Earning a degree in music education was only natural for her and she studied at Philadelphia's Musical Academy, Temple University, and Juilliard. During these years she reached out to the classics and built a base from which future compositions and arrangements would spring.
Always seeking new musical challenges, Ms. Pitts accepted an offer to sit in the pit as an assistant to the pianist in the Tony Award-winning show Raisin' when it traveled through Philadelphia. She eventually became the assistant to the conductor of this nationally touring show. Jazz made its way into her life and was nurtured by her husband, Bill Carney (a.k.a. Mr. C). He became a major influence in shaping and implementing Ms. Pitts’ musical skills. Trudy and Mr. C are a family of music and a musical family. They unified their efforts and forged ahead.
Early in Mr. C's career as a drummer, he associated with jazz organists Bill Davis and Jimmy Smith. He had also worked with Shirley Scott, and now he encouraged Ms. Pitts, knowing full well what she was capable of. In 1967 the Boston Globe pronounced her a rising star and complimented her drawbar variations, vibrato shadings, and bass pedal work.
Ms. Pitts became a sensation on the Hammond organ and at the 1992 Organ Jam in Philadelphia she emerged in the world of jazz organ and was soon swinging away with Mr. C alongside such greats as Ben Webster, Gene Ammons, and Sonny Stitt. She recorded four albums for Prestige Records, appearing with Willis Jackson, Pat Martino, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. She handled herself formidably in an arena of musicians made up mostly of men. Her musical prowess would have taken her much further down the halls of fame, some have speculated, were it not for her noble decision to maintain the integrity of her family.
Today, Ms. Pitts’ work provides her with freedom to be true to her music, while Mr. C insulates her from things that don't pertain to her mission of creating music.