Jim Schapperoew was born on September 21, 1949 in New London, CT.
Began studying and playing drums in May, 1964 at 14 years old.
Some of his earliest performing experiences would include playing at The Morton Club in Niantic, CT with his uncle’s quartet, playing in the High School Dance Band and Marching Band and doing numerous weddings, bars, parties, Bar Mitzvahs, dances and clubs with a variety of bar bands, show bands, rock groups, dance bands, garage bands, lounge groups, commercial ensembles…..you name it; anything to gain experience and to develop himself as a drummer.
Discovered Jazz at 14 and became determined to become one of it’s great exponents by doing a tremendous amount of listening, practicing and playing to realize this goal.
His first teacher was James Heffernan, a percussionist with The U.S. Coast Guard and then, after graduating High School in 1967, attended The Berklee School Of Music (as it was known then) in Boston MA as an Arranging and Composition Major.
His first drum instructor there was the great Alan Dawson. After 2 semesters, he decided to leave Berklee and continue with his studies at The New England Conservatory of Music as an Instrumental Performance Major, which was also located in Boston.
In 1971, he met a Boston area musician, Chris Hinze-a citizen of Holland, who auditioned him for the drum chair in his quartet, The Chris Hinze Combination. Hinze liked his playing and offered to have him come to Holland and tour Western Europe with his Jazz-Rock band. In 1972, he moved to The Hague, Holland and began touring and performing with Hinze’s band all over Holland, Germany, France, Belgium and Switzerland. They played major European clubs and festivals, such as The Newport Jazz Festival (in Germany) and The Montreux Jazz Festival. This band recorded 3 albums on Columbia Records and 1 album on the Blue Stone label, with alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano as leader, in 1972 and 1973 (See Discography). After 15 months, he decided to go back to the Boston area with the hopes of getting back to playing and developing a much more straight-ahead, Mainstream style of Jazz than he’d been playing with The Chris Hinze Combination.
Schapperoew’s strongest Jazz drumming influence was the great Tony Williams, who played with the incomparable, influential Miles Davis Quintet from 1964 to the late 1960’s.
In 1974, he met pianist Charles Farrell and began working steadily with his trio at The Mediteranea Lounge in Newton, MA and at Lulu White’s, a Jazz club, in Boston. Schapperoew and Farrell, who’s a bonafide, pianistic technical genius, became very good friends. Over the decades, they’ve played together in a diversity of musical settings-Everything from appearing on a “Dave B and his Hot Shots” CD (1940’s/1950’s Pop Music, Jump Band, Boogie Woogie ), to playing and recording together with great and historically significant innovators such as Ornette Coleman and Evan Parker, to recording with brilliant Mainstream players such as alto saxophonist Frank Strozier. They’ve also collaborated to create innovative, technically stunning, original music, i.e., “Music of the Duet” and “The Wanderer”, available on Schapperoew’s CD, “Uranian Rhythm” (Kerralee Records). They still have a close musical relationship and, in 2011, did 4 nights of performance at the Lilypad Performance Center in Cambridge, MA, along with the great British Avant Garde Tenor Saxophonist, Evan Parker.
In the early 1980’s, he and his family moved to New York City in order to play with some of the great players that were there, such as alto saxophonist Frank Strozier and others. Schapperoew first met Strozier in 1979 when he asked him to appear on his double CD, “Soliloquy-Volumes One and Two” (Kerralee Records). In NYC, he put a band together with Strozier and vibraphonist Warren Chiasson, who then played clubs and radio concerts together. Two recordings that will appear for sale on this website will be material from their 1982 performance on WKCR Radio, also featuring pianist Sir Roland Hanna and bassist Harvie Swartz. Another example of his collaboration with Strozier would be a piece taken from a club date in 1983. This gig was at The 55 Grande St. Café in NYC and the ensemble consisted of Schapperoew on drums, Strozier on alto saxophone, Reggie Workman on bass, tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan, Warren Chiasson on vibes, percussionist Phil Wilson and Trombonist Art Baron. In 1984, he put together 2 dates; one in Dublin, Ireland and one in London, England. He brought an all-star ensemble with him, which included Jazz greats (tenor saxophonist) George Coleman and (pianist) Tommy Flanagan. The Dublin date was at The National Concert Hall on April 8, 1984. The ensemble was called The Terrace All-Stars and featured Schapperoew, George Coleman, Tommy Flanagan, George Mraz on bass and Ireland’s Louis Stewart on guitar. This great, rare concert is available in it’s entirety on this site. The London gig was at the storied Bull’s Head Pub and was on April 11, 1984. The ensemble consisted of England’s Tony Lee on piano, Coleman, Mraz and Schapperoew. Two pieces from this date are also available here.
In 1985, Schapperoew moved to New Haven, CT and resided there for 30 years; writing, recording and practicing, which produced his album of all original music, “Uranian Rhythm” (Kerralee Records). This music is available on this site.
Ornette Coleman has recorded on 2 of Schapperoew’s compositions and will soon be released.
In December, 2015, he moved to Clearwater, Florida and continues to focus on composing, arranging, drumming and practicing.