"Big Jim" 38 years later
|"BigJim" Dofton is originally from Binghamton, N.Y. and started studying drums in
1956 with the late Russ Black and while in the 1st Army Band with percussionist/composer/author Dr.
Rupert Kettle of Grand Rapids, Michigan and finally with Tony Monforte in
Binghamton, NY. He played in the First Army Band stationed on Governor's Island, N.Y. in 1961 and 1962, including John Glenn's ticker tape parade up Broadway. Jim was leader of the "Group IV" Combo in Binghamton from 1966 to 1970.
He moved to the Philadelphia area in 1970 to go into the ladies shoe business, which caused a 15-year hiatus from steady playing. He and his
Belgian wife, Sweet Marie, own Deena Shoes at 33 South 69th St. in Upper Darby,
PA. 610-352-7817 Also 1306 Chestnut St. Phila. PA 215-790-1499
In 1986 he met Herman DeJong (the originator of the “Tuesday Night Jazz Jam Session
at the 23rd St. Café), who invited him to sit in at the “Best of
Philadelphia” annual celebration and countless other gigs which introduced him
to the music scene. “BigJim” is the
original house drummer at the Café.