Darryl Brenzel

Darryl Brenzel is a saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator residing and working in the greater Baltimore/DC region. He is currently professor of saxophone and jazz arranging in the jazz department at Towson University and professor of saxophone at Gettysburg College. He performs with his own trio and quartet, in the Latin Grammy winning Afro-Bop Alliance Big Band, and works as a free-lance artist. He is a three time recipient of The Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award, twice for music composition and once for solo instrumental performance.

Darryl Brenzel has just released his second recording as a leader, The Re-write of Spring by the Mobtown Modern Big Band, a Baltimore based group for which he serves as arranger and music director. The disc was released on the Innova label in July of 2012. The CD is a live recording of the 2010 premier of his adaptation of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” for big band/jazz orchestra. The performance received glowing reviews from the Baltimore Sun and the classical website DMV classical. The performance also made Tim Smith’s (Baltimore Sun) top 10 list of best classical performances in the Baltimore/DC area for 2010.

From October 2003 to July 2005 Brenzel was a member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in New York City. There he was able to study composition under the guidance of such renowned composers as Maria Schneider, Jim McNeely and Mike Abene. Brenzel also spent two years at Berklee College of Music in Boston from the spring of 1984 through the fall of 1985. There he studied saxophone with Andy McGhee, Joe Viola and George Garzone as well as arranging and composition with Ken Pullig. His works have been performed and/or recorded by The Dave Liebman Big Band and various military, professional, collegiate and high school bands across the country and around the world.

Brenzel also had an illustrious 26 year career in the military, playing in a variety of bands. He served in the Marine Band at Quantico, VA from 1980-83, The Army’s Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps from 1986-88 and The US Army Jazz Ambassadors from 1988-2008. As a member of the Jazz Ambassadors Brenzel toured extensively both domestically and abroad. At the time of his retirement he was serving as chief arranger, contributing 75 charts to the Jazz Ambassadors library, and associate director in addition to being a saxophone soloist.

Darryl has had the opportunity to play with a wide variety of bands and orchestras as well as some of the world’s great venues and events. He has performed with The National Symphony, The Baltimore Symphony, The Boston Pops, The Pittsburgh Pops, The Cincinnati Pops, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, The Dayton Symphony Orchestra, The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and The Long Beach Symphony Orchestar. He has performed with Chris Isaak, The Beach Boys, The Four Tops, The Drifters, Martha Reeves, Little Anthony & The Imperials, Gene Chandler, Denice Graves, Jerry Butler, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, The Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra and Dan Akroyd. He has also performed at The Montreaux Jazz Festival, The North Sea Jazz Festival, The Nice Jazz Festival, The Vienne Jazz Festival, The Newport Jazz Festival, The Jacksonville Jazz Festival and The Elkhart Jazz Festival.


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