Jacques A. “Doudou” Chancy, 53, was not only a music teacher at Norton Rogers Elementary School in Hightstown, but he was also a lauded musician and philanthropist in the Haitian community and owner of Jacam Records.
Born May 11, 1959 in Haiti, Chancy died of heart failure early Sunday morning while performing at Brasserie Creole in Queens, NY. Chancy was premiering his “Zodiac Party,” which featured his musical group Impresyon with guest appearances by well known and upcoming young artists. He reportedly collapsed with his saxophone in his mouth.
According to Jean Claude Elie, C.E.O and Founder of RockMasters Entertainment, in a message to readers, Chancy held his Haitian heritage close to his heart and set out to help poor children in Haiti learn music.
Chancy reportedly said to Elie, “the reason that kids in Haiti grow up to become trouble makers is because they have nothing to do with their time.”
Elie said Chancy opened a music school in Haiti for under privileged children and routinely sent any good, used musical instruments to the school. At least once a year, he reportedly traveled to Haiti to personally deliver instruments, books, and give music lesson to the students.
Elie said the monthly Zodiac parties were a means for Chancy to generate funds for his school in Haiti.
“This is just one of the great things that Doudou does and which makes him such a special individual,” he said.
Chancy released an instrumental CD that is said to mix Haitian folklore and jazz entitled Cry for Love on Amazon.com in 2008.
“In an industry where personal conflicts, divisions, broken friendship and the lord dollar reign supreme, Doudou was a breath of fresh air doing his best to confront all these negativities in our community with positive force,” Elie said.
Chancy began teaching at Grace Norton Rogers Elementary School in 2002 and taught music to first- through fifth-graders. Gayle Parker, the school’s Principal, said Chancy would provide free music lessons to students who acquired all A’s on their report cards. Prior to teaching, Chancy worked as a district bus driver.
Chancy received his bachelor’s degree in music education from The College of New Jersey in 2002 and completed his student teaching requirement at Melvin H. Kreps Middle School in East Windsor.
Many close to Chancy said he valued education, espousing the philosphy, “Education is to the mind what light is to the eyes.”
Bishop Guy Sansaricq, the Executive Director of the National Center of the Haitian Apostolate addressed a letter to the Haitian community extending his condolences.
“We pray that the Lord opens wide the doors of his Kingdom to this man who knew how to use his talents for the service of “the little.” That he harvests in the joy that which he has sown in his tears,” Sansaricq said.
The funeral service will be held today at St Joeachim and Anne Chruch, 218-26 105th Avenue, Queens Village, NY at 10 a.m.
Michelle Alphe, a French teacher at Watchung Hills Regional High School, translated Bishop Guy Sansaricq’s letter from French to English.