Born in New Orleans, Don's versatile background of playing funk, rhythm and blues, and pop music enhances his unique perspective on music and performance. In 1995 he formed the Creole Jazz Serenaders, performing classic jazz from the 1920’s through the 1940’s. As one reviewer wrote, “(Don Vappie & the CJS) ... remove the barriers of time… making the music fresh for today’s audience.”
The CJS recording, “Creole Blues” played to international audiences as part of Delta Airline’s Inflight Entertainment and is one of Offbeat Magazine’s “100 Essential Louisiana CD’s “In Search Of King Oliver” was the subject of a Public Radio International Broadcast radio series entitled “In Search of King Oliver”- a celebration of Joe “King” Oliver’s music. This led Glen Pitre, film producer/writer, to make Don & CJS a part of his film “THE HOME FRONT” - available on DVD.
In addition to his work as a producer, composer and arranger, Don has performed/recorded with Terence Blanchard, Benny Waters, Doc Cheathum, Peggy Lee and continues to be a regular guest with Wynton Marsalis and The J@LC Orchestra as well as guest artist at numerous festivals and venues worldwide.