PKO Alumni:
Susan Chastain
James Dapogny
Ellen Rowe
Mark Kieme

Jeff Gedz
Dave Caswell
Chris Smith


The Paul Keller Orchestra

James Dapogny...piano

Growing up in Chicago sparked a lifetime love of classical jazz for pianist and band leader James Dapogny. While still a teenager in Chicago, James met or played with some of the city's older jazz pioneers, such as Little Brother Montgomery. Dapogny graduated with highest honors from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1962 and then received his Doctor of Musical Arts there. Between degrees, James began his teaching career at the University of Michigan where he is now a Professor of Music recognized for the excellence of his teaching. He founded the James Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band in 1976, that plays a great variety of the first fifty years of jazz repertoire and style, from ragtime to New Orleans and Chicago jazz to swing. The band has made eight albums including their twentieth-anniversary album, On the Road (1997).

James Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band accompanied blues singer Sippie Wallace on tour for years and, with a special guest appearance by Bonnie Raitt, recorded the Atlantic album, Sippie, which received a Grammy nomination. This 1982 classic has been reissued on CD. The band has opened for humorists Bob Newhart, Phyllis Diller, and Rich Little. Since 1986, the band has been making joint appearances with a dynamic and popular vocal trio, the Chenille Sisters. In 1992 the two groups together recorded the Red House Records release Whatcha Gonna Swing Tonight?

Along with trombonist/sousaphonist Chris Smith, James co-leads Phil Oglivie's Rhythm Kings, a 10-piece band that plays dance music and popular tunes of the 1920s and 30s. James is the musical director of Phil Oglivie's Rhythm Kings. PORK can be heard every Sunday afternoon at the Firefly Club in Ann Arbor, MI from 5:00 PM till 8:00 PM.

Along with vocalist Susan Chastain, James co-leads Swingset, a five-piece swing band that features cellist Mike Karoub, bassist Kurt Krahnke and guitarist Rod McDonald.

A scholar as well as a performer, James produced Jelly Roll Morton: The Collected Piano Music, published jointly by the Smithsonian Institution Press and G. Schirmer, Inc. and distributed by Hal Leonard Publishing Corp. For Rounder Records CD release, Dapogny edited the famous Jelly Roll Morton Library of Congress recordings.

Contact Jim at

the band