Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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DuPre, Bryant (Williams)

DuPre, Bryant (Williams), drums, saxes (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) and flutes, singer and historian; b. New Orleans, LA, 18 November. His parents are Arthur Mason DuPre, Jr., b. Nov.22, 1907, Spartanburg, So. Carolina, d.1987 and Elsie Field DuPre b. July 28, 1921, Bogalusa, La., d. 1984. His sister is Georgia DuPre Chadwick, b. March 24, 1954, New Orleans, La. (played flute in youth).

He grew up in Forest Heights, Md. (suburban Wash. D.C.) In 1973, at 16,  started private music lessons and began ushering at Smithsonian jazz concerts  produced by Martin Williams featuring Lionel Hampton, Charles Mingus, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Cecil Taylor and others. Moved to N.Y.C. 1981. He studied sax with Bernard Van Caster of U.S. Marine Band, 1973-78; sax and flute with Carmine Caruso, 1982-86; sax with Warne Marsh, 1982; drums with Charli Persip, 1984-85; drums with Henry Adler, 1991-92; voice with Ron Shetler, 1996-present; drums with Joe Morello, 1980's; flute with Eric Hoover, 1990's; and drums with Joe Ascione, 1999-present. He has a B.A. in history, Wofford College, Spartanburg, So. Carolina, 1978. He did music theory studies at Converse College, Spartanburg, S.C.

On each gig, he plays each of his instruments separately but he also specializes in playing saxes and flutes or singing while playing high hat cymbals and bass drum at the same time. He's co-leader and founder of jazz trio, Rifftide (1997-present) which has occasionally featured guest stars (ie. Jimmy Knepper, Victor Jones, Virginia Mayhew, and others). He was also co-leader and founder of The Swing Now Trio (1984-1996). Overall, the Swing Now Trio, (1984-1996) gigged with over 187 guest stars and substitutes (ie. Major Holley and Richard Wyands were substitutes, not guest stars). Also performed on gigs with famous tap and lindy dancers including Cookie Cook, Frankie Manning, Chuck Green,  and others).

He's had numerous residency gigs in New York City, including thirteen lasting between six months to four years. Rifftide's played at Bubby's (1999-2002), Juniper Cafe (1999-2000), Starbucks-W.30th St. (1997-2000) and others. The Swing Now Trio has played at La Table des Rois (1992-1996), The White House (1992-93), North River Bar (1986-1988) and others. Freelance gigs include a John Zorn "Cobra" piece at the Knitting Factory.

Radio and television broadcasts:
Joe Franklin Radio Show, WOR, 1987; New York; Dick Rothman Cable TV Show, 1987. Performed with the Swing Now Trio (with guest star Bobby Watson) in documentary film, "The Call of the Jitterbug" (1988 dir. Tana Ross, Jasper Sorensen and Vibeke Winding)

Composed and performed original music for film, "The McCourts of New York" (1997); played drums on soundtrack for film "The Delivery" (1996, dir. David Lee); composed and performed music for WNEW-AM commercial for Britannic Grill (1994). Recorded original compositions by Carol Parkinson on tenor sax  in 1983.

Unissued recordings:
Several hundred hours of live unreleased recordings of Swing Now Trio gigs in New York City. These gigs feature dozens of guest stars such as Buddy Tate, Bennie Wallace, Lou Donaldson, Mark Whitecage, Joe Morello, Tom Harrell, Max Kaminsky, Carrie Smith and many others. With horn player guest stars, he played drums, and played horns with drummer guest stars.  Also has videos of live gigs where he was featured performing with Don Lamond, Erskine Hawkins, Spanky Davis, Doc Cheatham, Charli Persip and others. The videos with Hawkins, Davis and Cheatham and many of the live recordings were from jazz gigs for lindy hop and jitterbug dancing-not club dates.

The Swing Now Trio was profiled by Stuart Troup in "New York Newsday," Nov. 25, 1987; by Herb Boyd in "New York Amsterdam News," Oct. 5, 1988; by Margo Nash in "The Battery News," Feb. 16, 1988;  by Michael Clancey in The New York Swing Dance Society Newsletter in March 1989 and in "The Sunnyside News," June 1989.
Oral History Work (1979-present)
Interviewed John Malachi and Leonard Phillips for Jazz Oral History Project (JOHP) at Rutgers University.  Transcript editing for JOHP at the Smithsonian Institution. Independently conducted lengthy interviews detailing the life stories of  jazz writers such as Martin Williams, Barry Ulanov, Dan Morgenstern, Ira Gitler,William Gottlieb (jazz photographer), Walter Schaap, Felix Grant (jazz broadcaster) and others. Also shorter interviews with John S. Wilson, Stanley and Helen Oakley Dance and George T. Simon. With Bob Crease (Pres., NY Swing Dance Society) co-conducted interviews with numerous jazz musicians on performing jazz for social dancers (ie. Andy Kirk,  Eddie Barefield, Buddy Tate, Bill Challis, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Hodes and others). Interviews are available to other researchers.

Contact information:
Home Address: 420 E.13th St.,  Apt. 32, NYC 10009, (212) 460-5891

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