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Darrell Grant

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


Album Review

Darrell Grant's MJ New: Our Mr. Jackson

Read "Our Mr. Jackson" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Anyone missing the artistry and elegance of the Modern Jazz Quartet will warm quickly to pianist Darrell Grant's MJ New, which pays homage to the great vibraphonist Milt Jackson and, through him, the legendary MJQ, on Our Mr. Jackson. The instrumentation is the same as the MJQ, with Mike Horsfall sitting in for Jackson on vibraphone and Grant for pianist John Lewis. Bassist Marcus Shelby (think Percy Heath) and drummer Carlton Jackson (Kenny Clarke, Connie Kay) round out the quartet. ...

Album Review

Darrell Grant: The New Black

Read "The New Black" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Pianist Darrell Grant's debut album Black Art (Criss Cross) was released in 1994, and became acclaimed as one of the definitive statements of New York jazz in the 1990s. It featured bassist Christian McBride, drummer Brian Blade, and the late, great Wallace Roney on trumpet—all of whom would go on to make major statements of their own in the music. In 2019, some twenty five years later, Grant had the opportunity to revisit the album repertoire at Birdland, convening bassist ...

Album Review

Machado Mijiga: Gradient

Read "Gradient" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Machado Mijiga is a Portland born and raised multi- instrumentalist, producer, audio engineer and educator, still based in his city of origin. His 2022 release, Gradient, turns his focus to his creative strengths as a drummer and composer, taking in tunes written over the course of the past decade. Mijiga has mild synesthesia, hearing sounds as colors, shapes or more specifically, colors seen through the spectrum, or color groups. This is similar to the recently passed pianist, Jessica Williams, who ...

Live Review

Darrell Grant Black Art @ 25 Quartet at Birdland Theater

Read "Darrell Grant Black Art @ 25 Quartet at Birdland Theater" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Darrell Grant Black Art @ 25 Quartet Birdland Theater New York January 16, 2019 In the tumultuous, twenty-five year interim since his debut, Black Art took the early to mid-'90s jazz community by storm. Pianist Darrell Grant has built for himself a solid, respected, and steady, if low-profile rep; an unapologetic, gentleman post-bopper whose infectious swing brings a room to its feet. So it's only natural that Grant come to Birdland Theater, in the city ...


Darrell Grant: From The Heart, Through The Keyboard

Read "Darrell Grant: From The Heart, Through The Keyboard" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

Pianist Darrell Grant believes in the power of music and art to change people, and through that path effect positive change in the world. That path may be the road less traveled, but he is not alone. After a time of learning his trade and then establishing himself as a musician with something to say he's been striving to move his art down that road over the years.His newest music, captured on Truth and Reconciliation (Origin Records, 2007), ...

Album Review

Darrell Grant: Truth and Reconciliation

Read "Truth and Reconciliation" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist/composer Darrell Grant's Truth and Reconciliation might be categorized as “music to make the world a better place." A strong case could be made that all music--indeed, all art--has that purpose. Grant's aspirations in that direction here are more on-the-sleeve than you find on most musical endeavors. The results on the project are remarkable for their celebratory beauty and unadorned artistic truth.The core of the music-making is the piano trio of Grant teamed with drummer Brian Blade and ...

Album Review

Darrell Grant: Smokin' Java

Read "Smokin' Java" reviewed by Dave Nathan

There's a lot going on with pianist Darrell Grant's fourth album as a leader. First it's a live performance in Rochester, NY. It was the Eastman School of Music in that city that awarded Grant a music scholarship at the age of 17, making him a prodigy of sorts. Second, the album is a tribute to his adopted town, Portland, OR. He joins many other jazz artists who have made Northwest U.S. their home. Third, it's Grant's debut as a ...

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Our Mr. Jackson

Lair Hill Records





The New Black

Lair Hill Records


The Way We Love

OA2 Records


The Territory

PJCE Records


Grant & Matheny

Papillon Recordings


Close Enough

From: The Way We Love
By Darrell Grant

Day Of Grace

From: Truth and Reconciliation
By Darrell Grant


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