DC Rapier was born in a little log cabin he helped his father build in Kankakee, Illinois. Born and raised an hour from the famous Blues and Jazz venues of Chicago, DC Rapier began his professional music journey with his first paying gig at the age of 15, as the lead singer, rhythm guitarist and harmonica player in a band playing Blues and R&B tunes learned from recordings of the vanguards of the British Invasion, the Yardbirds, the Animals and the Rolling Stones.
For more than 50 years, DC has been singing madrigal, plain-song, oratorio, art song, opera, musicals, jazz, Blues, swing, rock, pop, country –western and even some jingles. He’s performed in choirs and choral groups in Europe and America; played sax, flute and bass clarinet in concert and jazz bands; guitar, harmonica, sax and flute in rock bands, Blues bands and show bands.
A music school graduate, DC majored in vocal performance and minored in piano, flute and saxophone at Springfield College in Illinois, a prestigious, private school with a conservatory music curriculum.
After moving to Taiwan, DC founded the Blues Society on Taiwan, an affiliate of the Blues Foundation, in 2004. DC was the creator, impresario and music director of the Blues Bash, the annual international Blues music festival to promote Blues music in Taiwan. DC also founded and lead Taiwan’s premier proponent of Chicago-style electric Blues, BoPoMoFo (ㄅㄆㄇㄈ樂團) which was a semi-finalist in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge in 2007 and performed at BB King’s Blues Club on historic Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. While in Memphis, BoPoMoFo recorded ‘Hell Froze Over’ their debut album of original Blues and R&B material, at the Birthplace of Rock & Roll, the legendary Sun Studio.
As singer and guitarist, DC also lead a trio ‘The DC3′, which specialized in songs of the Great American Songbook (Gershwin, Kern, Cole Porter, etc). DC performed solo; doing selections from the Great American Songbook, classic R&B, Blues, and his own original songs. Other musical experience include playing tenor sax and singing in a funk band, ‘DC & the Funky Duds’, singing and playing bari-sax in a funk/soul review ‘Bad Ass Brass’, singing and playing tenor sax in a Frank Zappa-tribute band ‘Soup Mother’ and leading a progressive Blues/rock group called ‘Red Lip Bat Fish’, singing and playing guitar.
Apart from music projects, DC founded the Taiwan Tolkien Society, ‘Tol Eressea’ and served as the society’s ‘Lord-Mayor’. In August, 2005, at the Tolkien Society’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of first volume of JRR Tolkien’s masterpiece, ‘The Lord of the Rings’, DC presented a paper he’d written entitled ‘Frodo’s Temptation; Frodo’s Failure’ at Aston University, Birmingham, England. The paper was subsequently included in a compendium of papers from the celebration; ‘Tolkien 2005:The Ring Goes Ever On – Proceedings’, published by the Tolkien Society, Coventry, England in 2008.
His 68th birthday has come and gone and DC shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, he seems to be busier than ever. DC has resumed his theatrical career -started more than 50 years ago in high school with plays and musicals, continued through college with principal roles in the operas, ‘Slow Dust’ and ‘The Secret of Suzanne’ (Il Segreto di Susanna).
His operatic career continued in Los Angeles with performances of the role of ‘Colline’ in Puccini’s ‘La Boheme’ as well as theatrical presentations of operatic scenes and arias with the L. A. Valley Musical Theater Company. (Interestingly, while singing the role of Colline, the Bohemian philosophizer, DC was concurrently performing and recording original songs as the bass guitarist in a New Wave rock band, ‘The Freezers’.)
In 2010, DC checked an item off his ‘bucket list’ by playing a key role in the production of Cole Porter’s classic musical, ‘Anything Goes’ at Taiwan’s National Concert Hall under the direction of Brook Hall and Ted Runcie. DC reprised his role of ‘Eli Whitney’ the following year in the 2011 production of the classic musical which starred Taiwan pop-diva, eVonne Hsu.
His theatrical experience in Taiwan includes the title role of ‘Morrie Schwartz’ in the drama, ‘Tuesdays With Morrie’ and the emotionally demanding role of ‘Otto Frank’, Anne Frank’s father, in the world-renown historical drama, ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ for the Butterfly Effect Theater.
Another life-goal met by DC was the publication of ‘Ovoid, Illinois – Fictionalized Accounts of Inconsequential People’, his semi-autobiographical novel of life in a small Illinois town. The second volume of the proposed ‘Ovoid’ trilogy, entitled ‘Ovoid Diaspora’, was written in 2010 and 2011 and subsequently published. The third volume is being written and will be completed when DC takes the time from his other creative pursuits.
In 2015, DC was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Kankakee Area Music Awards in recognition of his long career.
DC currently lives in Taipei, Taiwan with his beautiful wife, Yashan ‘Linda’ Huang and five cats.