James Chapdelaine

Class of 1972; Elected 2012

At age 2 Jim began his life long love of music when he got his first guitar. He never looked back. As a student in Suffield schools, he was always in a band. The rural landscape, rolling hills and open fields infused his musical style over a life in music and film. After attending Berklee College of Music, Jim took a year off to study with jazz great Pat Metheny and played gigs up to 6 nights a week in the Boston area. An excellent guitarist, he is endorsed by Gibson guitars, and has played with everyone from Duff McKagan (Guns and Roses) to Mike Love (Beach Boys). In addition to his musical performance talents, Jim has a national reputation as a highly prized producer and works out of a studio he built in West Hartford where he has mixed and produced projects for hundreds of artists including Phoebe Snow, Hassan Hakmun, the Allman Brothers, and his own band, the Feathermerchants, the latter of which received the Best Artist Award at the NY Intel Music Festival in 1998 and came in 4th out of 300 for Best Band. As a film and TV composer, Jim has been recognized with numerous Addy Awards and 12 Emmy Awards, including one for The Making of Amistad, a PBS documentary for which he wrote and produced the music. He has played guitar on, produced, mixed and mastered hundreds of recordings, and his work has garnered 2 Grammy nominations. He has worked with a diverse group of artists such as Chuck Leavell, Paula Cole and Delbert McClinton; and has mastered projects for artists such as KC Jones, Aztec Two Step, and Clarence Clemons with Bruce Springsteen Live at Asbury Park. His TV work includes many award-winning projects for The History Channel, Dateline NBC, and PBS. Recently, he has been advising on and mixing Infinity Hall Live, a national PBS concert series which has been picked up by close to 200 stations with an audience of 69 million households and for which he has again been nominated for Emmys. His work on Autism: Coming of Age just received the National Institute for Health Care management TV award. Jim presently plays in a local band, Shinolas and has been selected as an official judge of the Emmy awards. He has been on the adjunct faculty of the Hartt School of Music since 2002 and loves his work! Jim lives with his wife and daughter in West Hartford, CT.