Jim Chapin

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James "Jim" Forbes Chapin' (July 23, 1919 - July 4, 2009) is an American jazz drummer and drumming educator. Jim is the father of Harry Chapin. Jim is an accomplished drummer who performed and taught while well into his 80's. Jim played with many big bands including Tommy Dorsey. He also has written books and created instructional videos on drumming.[1]

Personal Life

Jim Chapin was born on was born July 23, 1919 in New York City, New York. His parents were James Ormsbee Chapin, a successful artist of the American School of painting, and Abigail Beal Forbes Chapin, a high school English teacher. It was at William and Mary where would first encounter the drums. He left college and his music career began at the age of 18.

In 1940 he married childhood sweetheart Jeanne Elspeth Burke; they divorced in 1948. They had four sons: James Burke Chapin (1941-2002) , Harry Forster Chapin (1942-1981), Thomas Forbes Chapin (1945), and Stephen Beal Chapin.

In 1953, Chapin married Mary (Monja) Kulczycki. They had four children: Gale Angelique Chapin (1957), Christopher Chapin (1958), ; Paul Anthony Chapin (1960), and David John Chapin (1964). David would later perform with extended Chapin Family in Harry Chapin tribute concerts.

Chapin also fathered two children with Shirley Frazier: Lisa Joan Chapin (1954) and Carol Dana Chapin (1956).

Performing Career

Chapin's first notable performance was at the 1939 World's Fair in New York City with Gene Krupa. he would later performing with a variety of big bands through his career.

As his eldest boys grew up and become interested in muisc he performed with them in the mid 1960's as part of the Chapin Brothers. He formed a record label Rock-Land Records. They released a folk album and a couple of singles in 1966. The folk era was winding down and the album filed to chart.

In his later years he was seen at the Chapin Family music weekends in the summer at Ovens Park. Jim also performed at The Chapin Family concerts.

Credits (with son Harry Chapin)

Partial List of Other Credits

Music Albums

Instructional Music Books

  • Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer (1948) - spiral bound, 51 pages
  • Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer (1971) Volume 2 - Notebook Binder.

Instructional Videos

  • Jim Chapin - Speed, Power, Control, and Endurance. Release date: Jul 30, 1992


  1. "James Forbes Chapin: Jazz Musician, Drum Educator, Music Instruction Author". Sag Harbor Express (Sag Harbor, Florida). February 19, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-18 . 

External links

Jim Chapin official website