Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited

Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited

BandPopAdult Contemporary

The Sons of Champlin, led by Bill Champlin, former member of the American iconic band “Chicago”, are as always musically evolving. The Sons started in 1965 in Marin County. Now it's forty five years later and of all the rock bands that exploded out of the San Francisco music scene in the '60s, they are the last band standing. The Sons' sound defies easy categorization, because after 45 years it is unique to the band. It's nothing like the folk-rock that inspired their San Francisco dance-hall

Biography

The Sons of Champlin, led by Bill Champlin, former member of the American iconic band “Chicago”, are as always musically evolving. The Sons started in 1965 in Marin County. Now it's forty five years later and of all the rock bands that exploded out of the San Francisco music scene in the '60s, they are the last band standing. The Sons' sound defies easy categorization, because after 45 years it is unique to the band. It's nothing like the folk-rock that inspired their San Francisco dance-hall contemporaries, such as Quicksilver Messenger Service and Jefferson Airplane but owes more to James Brown, Wilson Pickett and B.B. King. Sometimes merciless R&B, sometimes tinged with rock or reggae, sometimes deep in the blues, sometimes just its own thing, it is the unique product of a group of virtuoso musicians who have spent four decades absorbing the entire spectrum of American music. The reason that these guys play together becomes obvious with the first few notes of the first song and it gets steadily better for the next couple of hours. Although The Sons revolve around Bill Champlin's singing and songwriting, he distributes the spotlight throughout the performance to showcase the individual abilities of his band mates.

As front man, Hammond organist, guitarist and lead singer, Bill was a member of the platinum super-group Chicago for 28 years, writing much of the material that they recorded. Before joining that group, he picked up a pair of Grammies for his songwriting, penning hits for Earth, Wind and Fire ("After the Love is Gone") and George Benson ("Turn Your Love Around").

The addition of Tamara Champlin's vocals has brought even more soul to the band. Her credits run deeply, from singing with Rita Coolidge and writing for Paul Rodgers, to performing in movies, to fronting her own band, to songwriting.

Will Champlin, Bill and Tamara's son, has recently joined the Sons of Champlin. Will is an amazing talent who has already co-written a Grammy winning song, “Ordinary Me”, which is on Heather Headly's 2009 Gospel Album of the Year, “Audience of One”. Will sings and plays keyboards and guitar. His songs are bringing fans to their feet. And he is a son of the Champlins!

Geoff Palmer's expertise with the keyboards and vibes brings the Sons sound all the way back to when he joined the band in 1967. Geoff is a musician's musician and his contribution to the band has been ever present.

Jim Preston has held the drum seat since 1972. Jim's playing and singing is unmatched and makes him a sought-after session player. He has played with Moby Grape, Cold Blood, Dr. John, Norton Buffalo and more. He also performed on Sheryl Crow's Hallmark Christmas album featuring Booker T.

On guitar and vocals is Carmen Grillo, who played with Tower of Power from 1988 until 1997, and has also performed with Bill and Tamara for 30 years. Carmen owns and operates Big Surprise Music studio in Los Angeles.

On trumpet is Jeff Lewis, who has performed and/or recorded with Ray Charles, B.B. King on his Grammy winning “Duets” album, Boz Skaggs, Kenny Loggins, Huey Lewis and the News, Diana Krall, Robben Ford, Pete Escovedo and more.

Doug Rowan is a San Francisco based saxophonist. His current projects include Steve Lucky and The Rhumba Bums, Adam Theis' Brass Bows and Beats Hip Hop Symphony and more.

Curtis Ohlson toured for years as the bass player for music legends such as Ray Charles and Buddy Rich. Curtis then went on to work with numerous other successful artists, including: Branford Marsalis, Sheila E., George Duke, Bob Weir and more. Ohlson says: "I saw The Sons of Champlin at Winterland in SF when I was 14 years old and I have been a fan ever since, so performing with The Sons of Champlin is a dream come true for me!"

The Sons of Champlin boast a career that spans more than 4 decades with over 12 albums to their credit. They are much more than a heritage or nostalgia act and have garnered a solid fan base that has loved and followed them since the 1960's. Always growing and always keeping the audience moving to the soulful, funky groove of their music, the Sons of Champlin are as vibrant as ever and look forward to seeing you as they come to play in your town.

Discography

see www.sonsofchamplin.com for more information

Set List

Length of set vary depending on type of show. Festivals: 60- 90 minutes and concerts: 2 X 45 - 75 minute sets