Featured Artist Darren Kramer - View, listen and shop for Darren Kramer's cds' and compositions & arrangements! ... and buy any 2 products from Darren Kramer and receive Darrens' latest CD DKO Electric Quartet
Darren Kramer is an Edwards Trombone Performing Artist and is in demand as a freelance trombonist, clinician, composer, arranger and producer throughout the United States.
Kramer was raised in a musical family near beautiful Boulder, Colorado. His father was a music copyist and arranger and his mother taught him piano lessons from a very young age. Kramer began playing the trombone in third grade and soon started working professionally at age 14 with an established local nine-piece dance band. His jazz education began in high school when he received several full-tuition scholarships to Clark Terry/Rich Matteson Jazz Camps. Kramer's interest in many styles of music placed him in every Colorado All- State Ensemble for which he was eligible throughout his high school career - claiming the lead trombone chair both his junior and senior year in jazz band, symphonic band and orchestra. His senior year at Skyline High School was decorated with numerous awards such as being chosen lead trombonist for the prestigious 1987 McDonald's All- American High School Jazz Band. Kramer then attended the University of Miami and was a member of the world-renowned UM Concert Jazz Band and performed with jazz greats Dizzy Gillespie, Bob Mintzer, Duffy Jackson, Jim McNeely, and Maria Schneider. Kramer concentrated his studies on arranging and composition while playing both the trombone and piano.
The cultural city of Miami also introduced Kramer to the world of Latin music which would continue to influence and inspire his music and career henceforth. He spent his summer breaks performing on various cruise ships as well as being part of the 1990 Walt Disney World Collegiate Orchestra where he worked with such artists as Rosemary Clooney, Patrick Williams, and Bill Conti. Kramer then took a year off from school to tour Europe with Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies at the young age of 21.
After graduating from UM in 1992, the Aspen Music School provided Kramer a full-tuition scholarship to return to Colorado and attend their intensive 12-week music program which featured guest jazz artists Eddie Daniels, Gary Burton, and Claudio Roditi. Immediately following his summer in Aspen (and the removal of his dental braces after four long years!), Kramer enjoyed a year-long stint in Japan as a staff musician aboard a high-profile cruise liner. His travels were extensive and took him to exotic locations such as China, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia. Kramer then honed his skills further as a freelance musician and arranger in Las Vegas from 1993-97. It was in Las Vegas where Kramer began his debut recording project utilizing the skills of many local musicians as well as fellow UM alumni passing through town on tours with Miami Sound Machine, Tom Jones and Julio Iglesias. More cruising offers lured Kramer to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Panama Canal - this time as band leader and solo pianist. After completing his debut cd in 1998, Kramer moved to New York City where he lined up tours with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Tom Jones, and Rob Thomas rock band Matchbox Twenty. The 2000 MB20 Mad Season" tour employed Kramer as trombonist, arranger and contractor for nearly a year, during which time Kramer performed and traveled in luxury throughout the USA and Australia. MB20 also traveled to the UK for a Hard Rock Cafe 30th Anniversary Celebration and opened six shows for Bon Jovi and 50,000 fans! Kramer has made national television appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman and can be seen on the Matchbox Twenty VH1 Storytellers" DVD (alongside his younger sister, Dawn, on trumpet).
In 2001, Kramer returned to Colorado and officially founded DKO-- The Darren Kramer Organization - an innovative 10-piece group which continues to serve as Kramer's creative outlet for both live performance and studio recordings. This world-class horn band performs Kramer's original Funk, Jazz & Latin charts in concerts and clinics throughout the USA including a recent educational tour in Chicago, an IAJE performance in Long Beach, CA and a Montreux Jazz Festival Invitation to Switzerland. DKO is highly versatile in regards to size and style of music and therefore is also in demand for numerous private corporate events for the NFL, NBA, Budweiser, Coors, Qwest, etc. - many of which take place in Colorado resort locations such as Aspen, Vail, and Telluride.
Kramer is an accomplished composer, arranger, and producer of many styles resulting in several commissioned works and an award from the John Lennon International Songwrtiting Contest for his original composition Not Far From Here". He has produced several exceptional recordings featuring world-renowned artists such as Eric Marienthal, Rick Margitza, Jerry Hey, Gary Grant, Gary Willis, and the late Michael Brecker who praised Kramer's music as ...fresh, innovative funk by a brilliant, upcoming trombonist". The most recent DKO CD release is entitled Electric Quartet and features a unique blend of 21st century 'Electric' Trombone and B3 Organ, producing a Brecker Brothers-meet-James Brown sound.
Darren Kramer is an active member of IAJE and served as artist in residence" at the Christchurch Jazz School in New Zealand. Kramer is currently the Jazz Trombone Instructor at the University of Denver. In addition to teaching private jazz trombone lessons, Kramer teaches songwriting and cd production, coaches the Commercial Music Ensemble and is part of the prestigious DU Jazz Faculty Combo The Climb".