b. 13 June 1948, Forest Grove, Oregon, USA. Raised in a very musical family, Dunlap played baritone horn in the school band, and while still in high school played piano with a local dance band, the Dell Herreid Orchestra. At Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, Dunlap majored in composition. After graduating, he played in and wrote for various jazz groups in Portland including the Tom Albering Trio, which included vocalist Nancy King, and also played with Leroy Vinnegar and Ralph Towner. Since the 70s Dunlap has been based in San Francisco, playing with many artists including the Pointer Sisters and Country Joe McDonald. In the late 70s, Dunlap met and later married singer Bobbe Norris. Around 1980 he began a musical relationship with Cleo Laine and John Dankworth that endured into the early 00s and included recording at Carnegie Hall. Among others with whom he has performed and sometimes recorded are Ernestine Anderson, Larry Coryell, Art Farmer, James Moody, Gerry Mulligan, Rebecca Parris, and Mark Murphy.
Dunlap’s many compositions and arrangements include music for big bands and classical music ensembles. In the 70s he received an NEA grant to compose ‘Immersion: A Water Suite For Jazz Quartet And Chamber Orchestra’. His long and fruitful musical association with the Cape Verde-born composer Amandio Cabral has resulted in several albums, including Why Not Forever, Sonho Azul: Blue Dream, and Fly With My Love. Early influences on Dunlap as pianist include André Previn, Herbie Hancock, Oscar Peterson and Chick Corea. Influences upon him as arranger and composer include Gerry Mulligan, Gil Evans, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Ivan Lins, as well as many classical composers. Through the 90s and into the early 00s, Dunlap has worked as music editor with the Sher Music Company. In the early 00s, Dunlap was active as piano teacher, giving lessons both privately and with students at Mills College, Oakland, California. In the early 00s Dunlap’s schedule included appearances and tours with Norris, Laine and Dankworth, Murphy, Parris, Anderson and Ernie Watts.