Singer – Actor – Composer – Vocal/Choral Arranger
Conductor – Musical Supervisor- Concert Producer
Four time Grammy award recipient Chapman Roberts debuted in the ground breaking original Broadway cast of Hair in 1968 sharing the stage with Melba Moore, Diane Keaton and Ben Vereen.
Prior to that United States Army Veteran Chapman Roberts proudly served with the heroic Marne Third Infantry (Audie Murphy) Division of European Special Services for a total of 7 years,conducted The United States Army Chorus and musical directed and simultaneously performed the role of Pontius Pilate in the massive US Army stadium production of Jesus Christ Superstar on Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Chapman Roberts’ subsequent stage appearances included featured roles On and Off Broadway in Salvation , (in English in the US, in Dutch in the Netherlands) Love Me, Love My Children, Hello Dolly (Pearl Bailey and Cab Calloway), Jesus Christ Superstar , and was the first African American to play the leading role of El Gallo in The Fantasticks, the world’s longest running musical.
He has recorded with Jazz greats Horace Silver, Weather Report, and Blues Legend B.B. King.(Grammy). His critically acclaimed vocal arrangements can be heard on eight original Broadway and West End cast albums of shows that garnered over 30 Tony nominations and 3 Olivier Awards.
Roberts’ vocal arrangements and musical direction have been pivotal in a string of Broadway and West End and International touring successes, including, Don’t Bother Me , I Can’t Cope ,( the first Broadway show ever written,composed and directed solely by women) the original productions of Eubie with Gregory Hines, Bubbling Brown Sugar (Broadway’s first jukebox musical, Grammy), 4 Broadway productions of Your Arm’s too Short to Box with God , (Broadway’s only successful Gospel Musical, 5 Grammy nominations), Blues in the Night (Broadway’s first Blues Musical), Five Guys Named Moe, Three Mo’ Tenors, Avenue X,( the world’s only Acapella musical) and Smokey Joe’s Café (the world’s longest running musical revue, Grammy) .
Chapman Roberts’ film credits include Year of the Comet, and Dino De Laurentis’ Solomon and Sheba, creating the role of King Yusef opposite Halle Berry (The First All Black Cast Biblical Epic).
In collaboration with the legendary French singer/composer Charles Aznavour, Chapman Roberts has completed the screenplay for “Midnite In Monte Carlo” a Chapman Roberts concept scored by Mr. Aznavour as arranged and recorded by Mr. Roberts.
Chapman Roberts has served as special events musical director and supervisor for President Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan’s Kennedy Center Honors, Mrs. Lyndon Johnson, the Inaugural Gala of Governor Ann Richards of Texas, India’s Jazz Yatra Festival, Manhattan Plaza, Kool Jazz Festival, Guest artist/Conductor Havana’s Cuban Jazz and Choral Festivals, Chapman Roberts Broadway Jazz Festival, Herbie Hancock’s International Jazz Day and St. Peter’s Jazz Church in New York City. His other musical associations include the Duke Ellington and Cleveland Orchestras, Atlanta Symphony, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Henry Mancini, Marvin Hamlisch, Al Green, Patti LaBelle, Bette Midler’s Harlettes, Eubie Blake, Bill Cosby, Harry Belafonte, Mr. and Mrs. Sammy Davis, Mrs. Louis Jordan, Willy Nelson, Foreigner, Gladys Knight,The Manhattans, Leslie Uggams, Ruth Brown,Jennifer Holiday, Freda Payne,Carnegie Hall Honors Series Eartha Kitt, Della Reese, Reggae pioneer Toots Hibbert, The Nat King Cole Estate, Lena Horne, Blues Icon Bettye LaVette, Opera Diva Jessye Norman, Tap sensation Savion Glover, Paul Simon, Public Theatre, Metropolitan Opera Guild, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Richard Allen Center for Culture and Art, Morgan State Choir, The Boy’s Choirs of Barbados and Paris,Washington and Lee, Ohio and New York Universities, Harlem Gospel Singers, American Idol, and President Barack Obama.
The Gospel According to Broadway , a Chapman Roberts concept chronicling 300 years of African American Sacred Music was performed and recorded by the BBC Concert Orchestra, Michael Terry Singers USA, and London Community Gospel Choir under his direction and commissioned by The British Government in Commemoration of the Bi-Centennial of the Cessation of The Atlantic Slave Trade.
Chapman Roberts conceived, arranged and conducted “US- The American Folk Oratorio” in celebration of The United States Bi- Centennial for Lincoln Center and his Grammy Award winning vocal arrangements were chosen to be performed at the Centennial of The Statue of Liberty in accompaniment to the reading of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in the presence of President Ronald Reagan.
Chapman Roberts directed, conducted, arranged and co- produced with “Phantom of the Opera” pioneer Norm Lewis the historic Black Stars of The Great White Way Concert featuring the largest cast of African American Broadway performers ever to be presented at Carnegie Hall which was hosted by Chita Rivera, Phylicia Rashad and Cicely Tyson.
Chapman Roberts other awards include a New York City Council Citation, A United States Congress Certificate of Recognition The New York Association of Black Journalists, National Black Theatre Festival Living Legend, Audelco Outstanding Pioneer,Josephine Foundation, Riant Theatre Pioneer of the Arts and New York State Excellence in Media Awards.
Most recently Chapman Roberts was designated to receive the Louis Jordan Lifetime Achievement Grammy.
Chapman Roberts is currently in cinematic and literary development of the history of his unique personal involvement with the phenomenal and deliberately obscured infusion into and influence on Broadway of Jazz, Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Gospel, Rock, and Hip Hop and the systemic unethical and discriminatory exploitation of that phenomenon in every facet of the entertainment industry complex.