Darcy James Argue is one of today's most talked-about jazz musicians thanks to the phenomenal critical response to Infernal Machines, his debut recording featuring his 18-piece bigband, Secret Society. The record was included on more than 70 best-of-the year lists and won Best Debut honors in the 2009 Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll. Argue and Secret Society topped three categories in the 2010 DownBeat Critics' Poll (Rising Star, Big Band; Rising Star, Composer; and Rising Star, Arranger) and were the recipients of two 2010 Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards (Large Ensemble of the Year and Up & Coming Artist of the Year). The group has played high-profile concerts in New York and other US cities, as well as in Europe.
Critics have credited him with developing “a nearly perfect creative synthesis between tradition and innovation” (John Eyles, BBC.com), calling his compositions “ambitious, sprawling, mesmerizing” (Juan Rodriguez, Montreal Gazette) and noting his “big, broad musical vocabulary” (Ben Ratliff, New York Times). Time Out New York’s Hank Shteamer adds, “Argue draws on the full spectrum of modern rock, jazz and classical music” in a way that “handily transcends pastiche.”
A native of Vancouver, and former member of the Montreal jazz scene, Argue moved to Brooklyn in 2003 after earning a Master’s Degree in Boston while studying with legendary composer/arranger Bob Brookmeyer. He has also studied with Lee Hyla, Randall Woolf, Maria Schneider and John Hollenbeck. His awards include the BMI Jazz Composers’ Workshop Charlie Parker Composition Prize and the SOCAN/CAJE Phil Nimmons Emerging Composer Award and he has received grants from the Jerome Foundation, the American Music Center, Meet The Composer, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music and the Canada Council for the Arts, among others.
Selected works composed for Pulse
(click to listen, right-click/ctrl-click to download)
Attracted To Light - Darcy James Argue (excerpt)