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Musician

Darden Purcell

Born:

DARDEN PURCELL, a Washington D.C. based jazz vocalist, is an active featured soloist with symphony orchestras, big bands and small ensembles, band leader and vocal instructor. Ms. Purcell has shared the stage with many top jazz artists including Maria Schneider, Eric Alexander, Terell Stafford, Jim Pugh, Chip McNeill, Chuchito Valdes, Dana Hall, Alan Baylock, Glenn Wilson, Chip Stephens, Stockton Helbing, Byron Stripling, Bobby Floyd, Joel Spencer, Darmon Meader, Lisanne Lyons, Jim Carroll, Charlie Young, Chris Vadala, Shawn Purcell, Matt Niess, Dave Detwiler, Joe McCarthy, the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, US Navy Commodores, Naval Academy Big Band, Next Wave, The Airmen of Note, US Army Blues and the American Festival Pops Orchestra (Tony Maiello) performing at concert halls and clubs nationally and internationally, including Blues Alley, Pops for Champagne, The Jazz Kitchen, The Blue Wisp, The Kitchen Cafe, The Bop Stop, Con Alma, JazzB (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Sandler Center (back-up vocals for Ben Folds) Meyerhoff Center (BSO), Wolf Trap for the Performing Arts (NSO) and The Kennedy Center (back-up vocals for Mr. George Benson, Sara Bareilles and Caroline Shaw). Dr. Purcell is the Director of Jazz Studies, Jazz Voice Instructor and Director of the Downbeat Award-winning Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble at George Mason University.

Ms. Purcell is a former Washington DC Air Force Band vocalist, with the groups High Flight and the Airmen of Note, performing nationally and internationally, including Germany, Italy, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Purcell performed back-up vocals for nationally renowned recording artists, Chaka Khan, BeBe Winans, Bryan White, Lari White, Janie Frickie, Freda Payne, Sherrie Payne, Gloria Loring, Melba Moore and Rita Coolidge as well as a televised performance behind Darlene Love on "The Late Show with David Letterman."

In addition to her active performing schedule, Dr. Purcell is a sought-after jazz vocal educator and clinician. Dr. Purcell was the Jazz Voice Instructor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and founder/director of the University of Illinois Jazz Vocal Ensemble. She is now the founder/director of the Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble. Her groups have been invited to perform at the New York Voices Jazz Festival, Western Michigan’s Gold Company Jazz Vocal Invitational, the 2012, 2018 Jazz Education Network (JEN) conference, Kansas City Jazz Summit and Tiffin Vocal Festival. Dr. Purcell has served on the faculty of the W.O. Smith Music School camp (Nashville), Illinois Summer Youth Music, George Mason Summer Jazz Workshop, National Jazz Workshop and Mason Jazz Camp to name a few.

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Article: Album Review

Darden Purcell: Love's Got Me in a Lazy Mood

Read "Love's Got Me in a Lazy Mood" reviewed by Geannine Reid


Darden Purcell's album Love's Got Me In A Lazy Mood (OA2 Records, 2023) shows her keen ear for the subtleties and nuances which define the West Coast cool jazz vocal sound. Purcell's album comprises eleven tracks which blend the laid-back, sophisticated rhythms and melodic inventiveness that characterize the style with beautiful singing and nimble playing.

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

John Ellis, Donald Vega & Gerald Cannon

Read "John Ellis, Donald Vega & Gerald Cannon" reviewed by Joe Dimino


On the first episode of 2024, we begin with celebrated bassist Gerald Cannon live at Dizzy's Club in New York City. From there, we play releases from late 2023 and new music from 2024 including music from John Ellis, Kelly Jefferson, Mark Burnell and Christian Dillingham. Veteran musicians Donald Vega and Marius Van Den Brink also ...

Album

Love's Got Me in a Lazy Mood

Label: OA2 Records
Released: 2023
Track listing: Willow Weep for Me; Love’s Got Me in a Lazy Mood; Come Back to Me; It’s a Most Unusual Day; I Concentrate on You; A Cottage for Sale; Estrada Branca (This Happy Madness); Chatterbox; Estate; Taking a Chance on Love; You’ve Changed.

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

More Fall Releases Plus Birthday Shoutouts To Lovie Austin, Vi Redd, Emily Remler & More

Read "More Fall Releases Plus Birthday Shoutouts To Lovie Austin, Vi Redd, Emily Remler & More" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This broadcast includes new releases from Audrey Ochoa, Shuteen Erdenebaatar, Maddie Vogler, Teri Parker, Brandon Sanders featuring Jazzmeia Horn, vocalists Darden Purcell, plus a single from Samara Joy, with birthday shoutouts to Lovie Austin, Vi Redd, Emily Remler, Bobby Short, Catherine Russell, Kait Dunton, Norma Winstone and Ingrid Laubrock, among others. Thanks for listening and please ...

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Song of the Day

Willow Weep for Me

Album:
By
Label: OA2 Records
Released: 2023
Duration: 06:37

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Article: Rising Stars

Introducing Vocalist April Varner

Read "Introducing Vocalist April Varner" reviewed by Sanford Josephson


This article previously appeared in Jersey Jazz Magazine. The 1957 Verve album, Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Song Book, contained 38 tracks, including some of the best-known tunes associated with Ellington such as “Solitude," “Satin Doll," and “I'm Beginning to See the Light." Contestants in this year's sixth annual Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Vocal ...

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Article: Album Review

Shawn Purcell: 180

Read "180" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Guitarist Shawn Purcell's latest CD, 180, is all about swinging; Purcell's trio (Pat Bianchi on Hammond B3 organ, Jason Tiemann on drums) nestles squarely into the groove on the double-quick opener, “Cat and Mouse," which sets an upbeat tone for the album as a whole. The rhythm seldom flags on Purcell's sunny compositions ...

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Article: Album Review

Shawn Purcell: Symmetricity

Read "Symmetricity" reviewed by Geannine Reid


Guitarist Shawn Purcell has enjoyed a busy career with 15 years as a member of the military Big Bands in Washington DC. From 1996-2004, he was the guitarist in the US Air Force premier jazz ensemble, The Airmen of Note. During his time with “The Note," Purcell performed throughout the world, including England, Germany, Turkey, Luxembourg, ...

Album

Where the Blue Begins

Label: Armored Records
Released: 2017
Track listing: Destination Moon; Moon and Sand; Lullaby of the Leaves; You Stepped Out of a Dream; This Bitter Earth; Old Devil Moon; Darn that Dream; No Moon at All; The Nearness of You; Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams; Weaver of Dreams; Stairway to the Stars.


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