Born: December 4, 1971
Darren is a Jazz Pianist/Composer/Educator, Keyboard Session Musician, & a Modular Synthesist - based in Christchurch NZ.
His current projects include ‘Darren Pickering Small Worlds’ (cinematic jazz quartet) & various solo electronic ambient EPs. He is also a current member of the bands ‘Bits Of Beck’, ‘Swim Against The Tide’, & ‘Wulfie’.
Some of the notable musicians he has performed and toured with include; International Jazz Artists Gordon Brisker(USA), Dick De Graf(Holland), William Parker(USA), Raed Yassin(Lebanon), Bobby Shew(USA), Jamie Oehlers(AUS), Iain Ballamy(UK), Tom Warrington(USA). Nationally Renowned Recording Artists Julia Deans, LA Mitchell, Mark Vanilau, Whirimako Black, Dave Dobbyn, Anika Moa, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Anna Coddington.
Darren’s keyboard/piano playing & compositions/songwriting also feature on Studio Albums such as Shapeshifter ‘Stars’, Pacific Heights ‘The Stillness’, Julia Deans ‘Modern Fables’, Oakley Grenell ‘The Deep’, Cairo Knife Fight ‘Iron‘, The Tiny Lies ‘The Oaks They Will Blow’, Departure Lounge ‘In Session’, Sacha Vee ‘Sacha Vee’ & ‘Rising One’ & ‘Luminous’, Oval Office ‘Oval Office’ & ‘Move’ & ‘Don’t Stop’ , Glen Wagstaff ‘Firefly’, Sumo Jazz ‘Shiko’ & ’Throwing Salt’ (finalist 2011 NZ Music Awards – best jazz album).
Finalist (top3) for 'Best Jazz Compostion 2022' (APRA NZ Music Awards)
"I’m a fan of Rattle – as a label, their ethos, enthusiasm, curation; their dedication. And this is one of the best releases they’ve put in the world in a while. And Darren Pickering Small Worlds is a phenomenon unit, and the compositions here, most often, are sublime." (Simon Sweetman, 'Off The Tracks')
"So it's modern, perfectly melodic, and the general movement is based on fluidity. The contribution of electronics is quite discreet but nevertheless thickens a subject whose sounds regularly come out of the usual framework with which our ears are confronted. There is a certain je ne sais quoi in this music that is part of its charm. The interaction is there and we can say that the musicians of the quartet have the necessary osmosis for their music to blossom fully. Be curious, listen to them." (Yves Dorison, 'Culture Jazz')