Grammy-nominated jazz musician and bandleader James Dapogny brings his trademark jazz sound to the Chelsea High School Auditorium stage, Friday, April 9, 7:30 PM. This is the headline event in Chelsea Center for the Arts’ annual Jazz & Chocolates festival, which has expanded to a three-day celebration this year. In collaboration with the Chelsea District Library, the Chelsea High School music program, and Silver Maples of Chelsea, the jazz festival hosts a variety of events for youngest children through senior citizens.

With music ranging from Ragtime to New Orleans jazz, from Chicago to Swing—James Dapogny’s Jazz Band is known for tearing down the house with performances that entertain, educate, and get bodies moving.

CCA Director of Music Lisa Hinz-Johnson is thrilled to welcome Dapogny to Chelsea. “Jim is truly an icon—one of the best jazz musicians out there. He has an incredible ability to make jazz accessible to everybody—from little kids to adults—this concert will be fun for the whole family and we’re so lucky to have him headline Jazz & Chocolates this year.”

Joining Dapogny on stage is the CHS Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Rick Catherman. The high school jazz group will open for Dapogny and will have the opportunity to coach with him in a daytime workshop at CHS. Catherman is enthused about this opportunity for his jazz students. “This workshop is going to be really terrific! The experience will impact over forty of our band members directly as members of the CHS Jazz Ensemble, and will indirectly impact our entire high school music department,” says Catherman.

Jazz & Chocolates events raise money for CCA’s Student Scholarship and Tuition Assistance Fund, and with the multiple events for this year’s celebration Hinz-Johnson is hopeful that a large amount of money will be raised to help deserving students. “We have a three-day series this year, with something to please just about everybody. We have ticketed events to benefit the CCA student scholarship fund, but we also have free events so that nobody has to miss out on these wonderful jazz experiences. Even the ticketed events are priced reasonably so that entire families can come out to enjoy a day or evening of great jazz concerts and workshops.”

The festival of jazz kicks off with a special senior citizens’ preview performance of the Jazz & Chocolates at the Depot concert. The preview concert is open to all seniors, Wednesday, April 7, 6:30 PM, at Silver Maples of Chelsea. The intergenerational concert is free of charge and will feature singers and guitarists from the upcoming depot performance. Seniors will be invited to share their favorite jazz stories and recollections.

The next event in the series is James Dapogny’s Jazz Band, along with the CHS Jazz Ensemble, performing at the CHS auditorium on Friday, April 9, 7:30 PM. Tickets are $7.50 students/seniors; $10 individual; $25 family—and advance tickets are sold at CCA and also at the door.

From 10 AM-1PM, Saturday, April 10, Jazz for Kids comes to the Chelsea District Library’s McKune Room. The events are free, but parents should register their children in advance by calling CCA at (734) 433-2787:

Jazz Jam, Jr.—10:00-10:45 AM—kids, ages 3-6, will enjoy a jazz story, songs and improvisation in this lively workshop with Chelsea Center for the Arts’ music instructor Tara Vesprini.

Jazz Jam—11:00-11:45 AM—kids, ages 7-11, will create syncopated rhythms and jazz riffs in this dynamic workshop. Children will discover the fun of improvisation through the American tradition of jazz music.

Standards from the American Songbook—Noon-1:00 PMjazz and popular standards as performed by elementary and middle school voice and guitar students from the Chelsea Center for the Arts, together with instructors Lisa Hinz-Johnson and Alex Anest.

Jazz & Chocolates at the Depot, Saturday, April 10, 7-11 PM—CCA advanced voice and guitar students join instructors Lisa Hinz-Johnson and Alex Anest in an evening full of hot and cool jazz with all the decadent chocolate treats you can eat. Included in the evening are performances by the Michigan Pops Choir and the sensational vocal trio White Chocolate. There will be a raffle and silent auction later in the evening, with all proceeds from the event going toward the CCA tuition and scholarship assistance fund. This event has sold out in the past, and there are limited tickets available, so advance purchase is highly recommended—suggested donation of $10-$20 per person.

To register for Jazz Jam workshops for kids or to purchase tickets for the James Dapogny’s Jazz Band concert or Jazz & Chocolates at the Depot, please call CCA at (734) 433-2787. Additional information can be found at

Detroit Mommies Expert Contributor
Courtney is the traveling mom! She has 3 girls and is the founder of Detroit Mommies and currently lives in Florida. You can follow her on Twitter @courtneyRVL.
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13 years ago

everyone love Jazz….

interesting post… !