The article titled, "It's About the Feel First: Tanya Darby," was published in the January 2022 issue of The International Trumpet Guild.
An article from Elon University Professor of Music Thomas Erdmann was published in the January 2022 issue of The International Trumpet Guild Journal.
The article, “It’s About the Feel First: Tanya Darby,” is about jazz trumpeter and lead trumpet in a big band specialist, Tanya Darby. She has played lead with the Count Basie Orchestra, Paquito D’Rivera and the United Nations Orchestra, Rufus Reid Large Ensemble, the George Gruntz Jazz Band, the Roy Hargrove Big Band, Jimmy Heath’s Queens Jazz Orchestra and the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra, to list just a few. Additionally, she is a former member of Michel Camilo Big Band, the DIVA Jazz Orchestra and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.
The enormity of Darby’s abilities is additionally evidenced by her work, both in the studio and on the road, with artists like the Ron Carter Great Big Band, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Paquito D’Rivera, Jon Faddis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Gladys Knight, the Mingus Big Band, Terri Lyne Carrington and Clark Terry.
Her many television performances include BET on Jazz as part of the T.S. Monk Sextet, and performing with Aretha Franklin as part of the “Arista Records’ 25th Year Anniversary Special” on NBC. She has also been thrice nominated for Grammy Awards; in 2014 for her work on “OverTime: Music of Bob Brookmeyer” with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra; in 2011 for the recording “Quite Pride: A Suite for Large Ensemble” with Rufus Reid and in 1996 for “Live and In Clave” with Bobby Sanabria.
In addition to being a killer performer, Darby’s love of sharing knowledge has made her one of the most sought-after teachers in the world. Not only does she do countless international clinics, residencies and jazz festivals, but she currently serves as chair of the Brass Department at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Previous positions that Darby has held include assistant professor of Lead Trumpet at the University of North Texas and adjunct faculty at Temple University and the New School University of New York City. Her own degrees are both in jazz performance with a bachelor’s from the Manhattan School of Music and a master’s from Rutgers University.
Perhaps the most striking aspect pointing to how boundless Darby’s abilities are lies in the fact she has attained all of the above without a single musical release as a leader. She has accomplished all of this by working as a side musician. Devoting almost all of her career as a side musician and pedagogue speaks volumes to what she considers the most important work in life – not egotistically striving for one’s own personal glory but providing help and encouragement to others.