Friday, February 25, 2011

Dave Shapiro R.I.P.

Bassist Dave Shapiro passed away in his home in West Townshend, VT. He was 58.

David Shapiro was born on April 24th 1952 in Brooklyn, New York.  He graduated from Brooklyn College in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. He was married to Jocelyn Brodie of Vermont.

Dave became a busy New York freelancer, playing regularly with such jazz legends as Woody Herman, Chet Baker, Lee Konitz, Howard McGee, Mel Lewis and singers Ray Charles, Anita O'Day, and Chris Connor. He performed with Jackie Kane and Roy Kral in the Newport Jazz Festival in Carnegie Hall, under the auspices of Mel Torme. He proved his versatility as a member of the house band at Eddie Condon's (where Dixieland reigned) and the aptly-named Metropolitan Bopera House.

Dave was a bassist’s bassist who dug in and swung hard. His impeccable time and buoyant beat gave unmatched support to any musical event he played. His choice of notes was sublime. He had great respect for the tradition of jazz and was demanding of his band mates. He made everyone a better player.

His recordings include World Class, The Concord Years with Woody Herman, Hip To It, VSOP, Still Comin' On Up, Blues For Philly Joe, and Glass Enclosure with Danny D'Imperio.  He is mentioned in James Gavin's biography of Chet Baker.

After settling in West Townshend, Vermont in 1987, Dave instantly became the first call jazz bassist for Vermont and Western Massachusetts playing and recording with notables Paul Arslanian, Bob Weiner, Mike Mussilami, Jay Messer, Eugene Uman, Draa Hobbs, Claire Arenius and Tom McClung. Dave was also featured at the Vermont Jazz Center as a performer and instructor and co-led a band with trumpeter Steve Sonntag.

He taught reading to adults in Vermont, and instituted his own educational programs. Dave also taught math, jazz history and conducted jazz ensembles at Westfield State College and Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts.

Dave is survived by his sister Susan Barth and his brother-in-law Perry Barth of Staten Island, NY, his aunt and uncle
Dr. & Mrs. Morton Connor of Aventura,Florida, his cousins Dr. Caroline Connor and her husband Dr. Alan Fischel and their sons
Brendon and Ethan of Eureka, California and Shane and Charlotte Brodie of Burlington Vermont. Dave is predeceased by his wife, Jocelyn Brodie in December of 2009.

There are 2 Facebook pages under his name where thoughts and condolences may be posted on the walls.

Dave Shapiro on Facebook is at:
Steve Sonntag – Dave Shapiro Jazz Band is at:

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