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Take Five With Darren Heinrich

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Darren Heinrich:
Darren Heinrich Trio is a classic Hammond Organ combo-organ/guitar/drums. The music's emphasis is groove, with equal parts tradition and innovation. Original music by Darren forms a significant part of the bands repertoire in addition to standards and blues.

Darren Heinrich: organ

Steve Brien: guitar

Andrew Dickeson: drums

Darren Heinrich is a versatile Sydney-based pianist and organist, who holds First Class Honors degree in jazz from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he studied with Judy Bailey and Kevin Hunt. His influences incorporate the entire spectrum of the jazz idiom, from its earliest ragtime roots to modern jazz. He regularly gigs with his own trio and freelances with a wide variety of acts both locally and abroad.

Darren Heinrich

During the last several years his focus has been jazz organ music. He travelled to the US to study with Hammond master Tony Monaco, and upon return recorded a CD tribute to legendary organists Jimmy Smith and Larry Young.

Hammond B3 and piano.

Teachers and/or influences?
Larry Goldings, Jimmy Smith, Wynton Kelly, Bill Evans, Tony Monaco, Lonnie Smith.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I first heard blues piano.

Your sound and approach to music:

Keep it melodic and grooving, with a dash of avant-garde.

Your teaching approach:

Learn the language and speak with your own voice.

Your dream band:

Peter Bernstein on guitar and Jimmy Cobb on drums.

Anecdote from the road:

Audience member to me: "Hi, I'm a big jazz fan!"

Me: "Great—do you have any requests?"
Audience member: "Yeah, 'Black Magic Woman' by Santana!"

Favorite venue:

The Sound Lounge Sydney or the Lennox Lounge in Harlem.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

New Vintage Tunes for the Hammond Organ because I wrote all the tunes and I'm very proud of it.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

Writing original music for the Hammond Trio.

Did you know... I'm really into parrots of all kinds?

How do you use the internet to help your career?

I have a website and email list and visit Yahoo groups for Hammond a lot.

CDs you are listening to now:

Dr. Lonnie Smith, Rise Up (Palmetto)

Hank Jones, The Touch (Concord)

Sean Wayland, Pistachio (Seed)

Desert Island picks:

Jimmy Smith, Crazy Baby! (Blue Note)

Miles Davis, Relaxin' (Prestige)

John Coltrane, Blue Train (Blue Note)

Larry Goldings, As One (Palmetto)

Bill Evans, On Green Dolphin Street (Riverside)

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Very healthy and a broad range of music, but unfortunately without the audience it deserves.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Incorporating tradition and innovation I think.

What is in the near future?

Promoting my new disc and writing more tunes!

By Day:

I teach part-time at Australian Institute of Music.

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