Darcy James Argue
Fields of Study:
Degrees and Studies:
BMus, McGill University
MMus, New England Conservatory
Darcy James Argue is one of today's most talked-about jazz musicians thanks to the phenomenal critical response to Infernal Machines, his Grammy-nominated debut recording featuring his 18-piece bigband, Secret Society. The record was included on more than 100 best-of-the year lists and won Best Debut honors in the prestigious Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll. Argue has topped the Rising Star: Composer category in the DownBeat Critics Poll for the past two years, and has won Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards for Large Ensemble of the Year and Up & Coming Artist of the Year. The group has played high-profile concerts in New York and other North American cities, as well as in Europe.
Critics have credited Argue with developing "a nearly perfect creative synthesis between tradition and innovation" (John Eyles, BBC.com), calling his compositions "ambitious, sprawling, mesmerizing" (Juan Rodriguez, MontrealGazette) and noting his "big, broad musical vocabulary" (Ben Ratliff, New York Times). Time Out New York's Hank Shteamer adds, "Argue draws on the full spectrum of modern rock, jazz and classical music" in a way that "handily transcends pastiche."
A native of Vancouver, and former member of the Montreal jazz scene, Argue moved to Brooklyn in 2003 after earning a Master's Degree in Boston while studying with legendary composer/arranger Bob Brookmeyer. His awards include the BMI Jazz Composers' Workshop Charlie Parker Composition Prize and the Hagood Hardy SOCAN Award, and he has received grants and fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, the American Music Center, Meet The Composer, the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, the MacDowell Colony, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and the Canada Council for the Arts.