Chip Deffaa

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Chip Deffaa is an American author, playwright, jazz historian, songwriter, director, and producer of plays and recordings. For 18 years, he wrote for the New York Post, covering jazz, cabaret, and theater. He has contributed to Jazz Times, The Mississippi Rag,[1] Down Beat, Cabaret Scenes, England's Crescendo, and Entertainment Weekly. He was born in New Rochelle, New York.


Deffaa wrote and directed George M. Cohan Tonight! off-Broadway in New York at the Irish Repertory Theatre. The cast album was released in 2006 by Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records. George M. Cohan Tonight! opened September 21, 2010 at the New Players Theater on the West End in London/ Deffaa directed a production of George M. Cohan Tonight! starring Jon Peterson—star of the original Off-Broadway production—in Seoul, Korea in July 2016.

After several regional productions, One Night with Fanny Brice was produced Off-Broadway in New York at St. Luke's Theatre, 308 W. 46th Street; previews began on March 16, 2011; the official opening night was April 3, 2011. A revised version of the show opened at The 13th Street Repertory Theatre, 50. W. 13th St., NYC, on April 22, 2013. The cast album of One Night with Fanny Brice was released in September 2010 by Original Cast Records.

In 2002 he produced The Chip Deffaa Invitational Theater Festival, taking over two theaters on 42nd Street in NYC to present, with support from Chashama, more than 25 theatrical productions in a six-week period, featuring Jon Peterson, Laurence O'Keefe, Brett Kristofferson, Peter-Michael Marino, Okey Chenoweth, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Dawne Swearingen, Karen Oberlin, Deb Rabbai.

Deffaa also lectures on theater and jazz. His 2007 lectures in Korea, timed to coincide with the opening of one of his plays there, were sponsored by the US State Department. Deffaa has written liner notes for albums by Chase Baird, Count Basie, Ray Brown, Ruth Brown, Miles Davis, Benny Goodman, Scott Hamilton, Dick Hyman, Jon-Erik Kellso, Tito Puente, Randy Sandke, Diane Schuur, Maxine Sullivan, and Frank Vignola.

He is a member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, the Dramatists Guild, ASCAP, NARAS, the Jazz Journalists Association, the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society, the Drama Desk, the American Theatre Critics Association, and is a trustee of the Princeton Tiger magazine.

Deffaa won an ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thompson Award in 1993,[2] a New Jersey Press Association Award, and an IRNE Award (Independent Reviewers of New England).

  • [3]
  • "Chip Deffaa: Musical Archeologist Digs Irving Berlin and Others" by Rob Lester, Cabaret Scenes magazine, March–April 2017


  • Swing Legacy ISBN 0-8108-2282-2
  • Voices of the Jazz Age ISBN 0-252-01681-5
  • In the Mainstream ISBN 0-8108-2558-9
  • Traditionalists and Revivalists in Jazz ISBN 0-8108-2704-2
  • Jazz Veterans ISBN 1-879384-28-0
  • Blue Rhythms ISBN 0-306-80919-2
  • C'mon Get Happy with David Cassidy ISBN 0-446-39531-5
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Princeton Years (as editor) ISBN 1-879384-29-9

As contributor


  • George M. Cohan & Co. (Eldridge Plays)
  • George M. Cohan: In his Own Words ISBN 0-573-63039-9 (Samuel French)
  • Irving Berlin's America (Steele Spring Stage Rights)
  • Irving Berlin: In Person (Leicester Bay Theatricals)
  • Mad About the Boy
  • One Night with Fanny Brice (Leicester Bay Theatricals)
  • Presenting Fanny Brice: The Original Funny Girl (Eldridge Plays)
  • Song-and-Dance Kids (Leicester Bay Theatricals)
  • The Family that Sings Together... (Drama Source)
  • The George M. Cohan Revue (Samuel French)
  • The Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue
  • The Johnny Mercer Jamboree
  • The Seven Little Foys (Leicester Bay Theatricals)
  • Theater Boys
  • Yankee Doodle Boy ISBN 978-0-87440-080-9 (Drama Source)


  • Chip Deffaa's Gay Love (Garret Mountain)
  • Chip Deffaa's Irving Berlin & Co.: The Original Cast Album (Garret Mountain)
  • Chip Deffaa's Irving Berlin Ragtime Rarities (Garret Mountain)
  • Chip Deffaa's Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue: The Original Cast Album (Garret Mountain)
  • Chip Deffaa's Irving Berlin Rediscovered: Rare Songs of Love and Longing (Garret Mountain)
  • Chip Deffaa's Irving Berlin Revisited: Rare Songs of Love, Loss, and Revenge (Garret Mountain)
  • Chip Deffaa's Irving Berlin Songbook: Rare and Unrecorded Songs (Garret Mountain)
  • Chip Deffaa's Irving Berlin's America Co-Starring Michael Townsend Wright and Matthew Nardozzi (Garret Mountain)
  • Chip Deffaa's Irving Berlin's America: The Premiere Recording Co-Starring Michael Townsend Wright and Jack Saleeby
  • Chip Deffaa's Irving Berlin: In Person the Premiere Recording (Garret Mountain)
  • Chip Deffaa's Mad About the Boy: The Festival Cast Plus Special Guest Stars (Garret Mountain)
  • Chip Deffaa's Mad About the Boy: The Original Cast Album: The 13th Street Theater Production (Garret Mountain)
  • Chip Deffaa's One Night with Fanny Brice Starring Mary Cantoni Johnson: The New York Cast Album (Garret Mountain)
  • Chip Deffaa's The Seven Little Foys: The Original Cast Album
  • Chip Deffaa's Theater Boys: The Original Cast Album
  • George M. Cohan: In His Own Words: Highlights from the Musical Production (42nd Street)
  • George M. Cohan: Rare Original Recordings (Chip Deffaa Productions)
  • Irving Berlin's America: The Original New York Production with Michael Townsend Wright and Giuseppe Bausillio
  • One Night with Fanny Brice: The Premiere Recording Starring Kimberly Faye Greenberg Original Cast
  • The Chip Deffaa Songbook (Garret Mountain)
  • The George M. Cohan Revue (Uptown Studio)
  • The Johnny Mercer Jamboree: The Original Cast Album


  1. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Chip Deffaa". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  2. ^ "26th Annual ASCAP Deems Taylor Award Recipients". ASCAP Foundation. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  3. ^ Hunka, George (2006-03-14). "Recapturing an Old Fountain of Euphoria". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved 2010-11-30.