Born: September 3, 1940 Primary Instrument: Piano
Jim needs little introduction in the jazz world. Professor of Music at the University of Michigan for over 40 years, he has led his Grammy-nominated Chicago Jazz Band for over 31 years, touring across North America and releasing numerous acclaimed records and C.D.s, including a project backing up the legendary Maria Muldaur in an album of early blues classics.
He is the author of Jelly Roll Morton- The Collected Piano Music and in late 2002 took on the task of reconstructing the great jazz pianist James P. Johnson's lost opera, De Organizer, which was given packed performances in Ann Arbor at the Power Center and in Detroit at Detroit Symphony Orchestra Hall. In 2005 he completed reconstruction of Johnson's other opera, The Dreamy Kid. The two operas were performed together, as Johnson had planned, over several evenings in March 2006, by University of Michigan forces conducted by Kenneth Kiesler and with Dapogny at the piano. The performances took place at the university's Mendelssohn Theater in Ann Arbor. Recordings of the operas are being edited for issue. Dapogny was also voted Ann Arbor Current Entertainment Monthly's 2004 and 2005 Jazz Artist of the Year.
Jim's piano playing is powerful, rich, sophisticated and inventive. His cornet playing (popping up in P.O.R.K.'s small group, the Wolverines) alludes to Bix Beiderbecke while being completely in the moment.
Dapogny's countless transcriptions of classic jazz music and numerous masterful arrangements give the Rhythm Kings a true world-class library to play from. Jim's musical direction gives P.O.R.K. a unique and profound sound and keeps alive the true spirit of early jazz and dance music.