A member of The DIVA Jazz Orchestra since 1997, Tanya Darby is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of North Texas, where she teaches lead trumpet lessons and Introduction to Jazz Recordings and directs the Three O’Clock Lab Band. She earned a master’s degree in Jazz Performance from Rutgers University in 2012 and a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance from the Manhattan School of Music in 1998. Formerly an adjunct faculty member at Temple University and The New School University, she is a current member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, The Roy Hargrove Big Band, The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Ron Carter’s Great Big Band, Michel Camilo Big Band, the Rufus Reid Large Ensemble and the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra. She has performed and toured with artists and ensembles including The Count Basie Orchestra, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, The Mingus Band, Clark Terry, Jon Faddis, Paquito D’Riviera, Gladys Knight, Frank Foster, Bill Cosby, Slide Hampton, George Gruntz, the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra, the Cab Calloway Orchestra, Dianne Reeves and many others. She has appeared on the television show “BET on Jazz” as part of the T.S. Monk Sextet and performed with Aretha Franklin as part of the Arista Records Twenty-Five Year Anniversary Special on NBC.
Tanya’s accomplishments as a lead trumpet player keep her in demand. She has played lead in numerous bands including Paquito D’Rivera and the United Nations Orchestra, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Roy Hargrove Big Band, the Count Basie Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra, the Rufus Reid Large Ensemble, DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Jimmy Heath’s Queens Jazz Orchestra, the Cab Calloway Orchestra, and the Frank Foster Loud Minority Big Band.
She can be heard on these recent CD releases: Orrin Evans’ Captain Black Big Band, Mother’s Touch (2014); Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Grammy nominated Over Time – The Music of Bob Brookmeyer (2014) and Forever Lasting – Live in Tokyo; The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, A Swingin’ Life; Rufus Reid, Grammy-nominated Quiet Pride: A Suite for Large Ensemble.
“…a virtuoso with remarkable control and power… who shows that though Miles Davis died in 1991, his unbounded soul will inspire for years to come.”
New York Times
By the age of 12 Tanya Darby was already expressing the elements of a mature jazz player. An awestruck audience at the Monterey Jazz Festival soon welcomed this young talent annually and could count on hearing her with the festival’s elite. After being invited to perform with the Festival All-Star Band several times, she was a celebrity with jazz aficionados throughout Japan and the west coast.
Playing lead trumpet with the Grammy All-Star Band brought her to the east coast where she soon after received her Bachelor’s in Jazz Performance at the Manhattan School of Music. She received various awards and accolades in recognition of her talents including the Jon Faddis Award for Musical Excellence for Most Promising Jazz Trumpet Talent of the Year. She gained notoriety for her soulful style and began freelancing throughout the New York metropolitan area.
She has performed with such artists as Jon Faddis, Clark Terry, Frank Foster, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Diane Reeves, Ramsey Lewis, Slide Hampton and many others. She has appeared on the television show “BET on Jazz” as part of the T.S. Monk Sextet and performed with Aretha Franklin as part of the Arista Records Twenty-five Year Anniversary Special on NBC.
As a member of DIVA since 1997, she has performed with such guest artists as Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Diane Schurr and Dave Brubeck. Their international tours have brought them to such venues as the Blue Note, Montreal Jazz Festival, the Kennedy Center, the Verizon Jazz Festival at Lincoln Center, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Room in Paris, Teatro de Sistina in Rome and Carnegie Hall.
Tanya can be heard on Bobby Sanabria’s Grammy-nominated recording, Live & In Clave (recorded at Birdland), which was voted One of the Top Five Albums of the Year by Jazz Times as well as Best Afro-Cuban Jazz Album of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. Other recordings include DIVA’s I Believe in You and commercial studio work.
In addition to a busy performing career, she is active behind the scenes as a producer and writer for various artists. She also maintains a studio of private students.