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DON VAPPIEInstructor, Jazz Guitar
Born in New Orleans, world-renowned guitarist, banjoist, and jazz musician Don Vappie's versatile background of playing funk, rhythm and blues, and pop music enhances his unique perspective on music and performance. In 1995, he formed the Creole Jazz Serenaders, performing classic 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s jazz. As one reviewer wrote, “[Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Serenaders] remove the barriers of time… making the music fresh for today’s audience.” The Serenaders' recording, Creole Blues, played to international audiences as part of Delta Airline’s Inflight Entertainment and was included byOffbeat Magazine in a ranking of 100 Essential Louisiana CDs. The Serenader's later CD, In Search Of King Oliver, was the subject of a internationally-broadcast public radio series celebrating Joe “King” Oliver’s music.
In the span of a 43-year career, Don has performed with Peggy Lee, Joel Gray, Carol Channing, Danny Barker, Wynton Marsalis, Otis Taylor, Terence Blanchard, Johnny Adams, Eric Clapton, Cheick Hamala Diabate, Bassekou Kouyate, Demma DIa of Sengal, Bette Midler, Ellis Marsalis, Diana Krall, and many more. As a headliner, he has performed at numerous festivals and venues around the world. His transcriptions of early jazz recordings are available from Warner Brothers Publishing, and his orchestral arrangements for banjo and orchestra are distributed worldwide on the NAXOS label.
As an educator, Don has participated, presented, or performed for programs at the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Tulane University, the Historic New Orleans Collection, NPR, the Smithsonian, Appalachian State University, among others. He currently serves as jazz guitar instructor at Loyola University and is a member of the Loyola's jazz faculty combo. He is also an instructor at the Don “Moose” Jamison Heritage School of Music sponsored by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation.