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Story Time

Updated: Mar 16

I haven’t had the chance to share this yet, but I've been on the road for about a week with Jazz at Lincoln Center's Sing and Swing. It’s an incredible ensemble, featuring a lineup of friends and some BAMF musicians: Bria Skonberg, Jocelyn Gould, Mathis Picard, Benny Benack III, Mark Lewandowski, along with our tour manager, Haley Freedlund, and myself. This tour has been nothing short of a pleasure. Honestly, at this point in my career, nearly every tour or gig is fantastic, ticking all the right boxes: amazing people, sublime music, and fair compensation. I'm living my dream, a dream that’s been a part of me since fifth grade.


I hopped on board this 45-city tour just last week. My admiration goes out to the crew for powering through the entire thing; trust me, even a week is challenging, let alone a two-month stretch. The regular drummer, Charles Gould, took a week off for a European tour, which is why I stepped in. I’m actually quite grateful for the opportunity – it’s been a phenomenal experience. It’s given me a chance to reconnect with old friends and strengthen bonds with some peers I hadn’t spent much time with before.


Speaking of Charles, he and I go way back. We shared a practice room for several years back when I lived in the city. He's an exceptional drummer, a true New Yorker through and through. I owe my spot on this tour to Bria, my bandleader for most of my road work over the past 12 years. Her recommendation means the world to me. She's opened so many doors for me – our musical journey together even helped me buy my house! We first crossed paths in Switzerland, nearly 14 years ago at a jam session. It's incredible to think how such random encounters can evolve into meaningful connections. Over the years, I've jammed with hundreds of musicians. While some are now lifelong friends, others remain as fleeting memories. The key, I’ve found, is to always be kind, authentic, and a good listener.


Tonight, I head home, excited to see Shedia and Sky again. With the weather getting warmer, I’m looking forward to reigniting a personal tradition: being the first in the neighborhood to grill this season. While touring has its charms, nothing beats the healing power of music combined with the joy of returning home to loved ones.


Later,

Darrian





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