Darrell Grant has risen from the pianist in vocalist Betty Carter’s trio to an internationally-recognized performer, composer, and educator who channels the power of music to foster community, sustainability, and social justice. Having performed with jazz luminaries including Frank Morgan, Tony Williams, Brian Blade, Esperanza Spalding, and Nicholas Payton, he followed his 1994 New York Times Top 10 Jazz Album Black Art with seven albums receiving critical acclaim from The Village Voice and DownBeat Magazine. He has toured as a bandleader and solo artist throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe as well as in Turkey and Japan in venues from Paris’s La Villa jazz club to the Havana Jazz Festival. Dedicated to themes of hope, community, and place, Grant’s compositions include his 2012 Step by Step: The Ruby Bridges Suite honoring the civil rights icon. Also in 2012, he won a Chamber Music America grant for his composition The Territory which explores the geographic and cultural history of Oregon. Committed to civically-engaged art, Grant has driven pianos deep into state forests to support the environment, arranged protest anthems, and shared the stage with Bishop Desmond Tutu. Grant lives in Portland, Oregon where he was inducted into the Jazz Society of Oregon Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2017, he received a Northwest Regional Emmy for his composition in the Oregon Public Broadcasting special “Jazz Town” and was also named Portland Jazz Hero by the Jazz Journalists Association. In 2019, he was named Portland Jazz Master by PDX Jazz and was awarded a MAP Fund grant for his 2022 jazz chamber opera Sanctuaries. In 2020, he received the Governor’s Arts Award, Oregon’s highest arts honor. He has served as Vice President of the board of Chamber Music America and is a Professor of Music at Portland State University where he directs the Artist as Citizen Initiative.
Oregon Governor's Arts Award 2020
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