Mason Jazz Faculty perform in Richmond!

Mason Jazz Faculty perform in Richmond!

Darden Purcell and Mason Jazz Faculty will perform in Richmond, Virginia for the Richmond Jazz Society\'s Guest Educators Concert Series! Joining Darden will be Wade Beach (piano,) Regan Brough (bass), Harold Summey (drums) and Matt Niess (trombone)!

National Jazz Workshop at Mason - Celebrating 10 years!

National Jazz Workshop at Mason - Celebrating 10 years!

The National Jazz Workshop at Mason runs June 24 - 29, 2018!

The National Jazz Workshop has set a standard of excellence for students, educators and performers who are serious about learning and mastering the language of the definitive American art form, Jazz. NJW offers an intensive, fully comprehensive curriculum...

Darden Purcell - Bonita Lestina Performances Series

Darden Purcell - Bonita Lestina Performances Series

Darden Purcell is honored to perform at the "Botina Lestina Performance Series" at Old Town Hall in Fairfax, VA. Joining Darden will be Shawn Purcell on guitar, Paul Henry on bass and Kevin McDonald on drums. Admission is free and the show starts at 8pm!

Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Vocal Competition 2018!

Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Vocal Competition 2018!

Darden Purcell will be an adjudicator for the 2nd annual Ella Fitzgerald Vocal Jazz Competition, hosted by the Blues Alley Jazz Society! Special guest judge will John Pizzarelli!

The die is cast and the dates are set. The 2nd annual Ella Fitzgerald Competition will occur between April 27th-29th, 2018 and...

Darden Purcell & Mason Jazz Voices to perform with the AFPO All-Stars!

Darden Purcell and the Mason Jazz Voices (Sarah Moyers, Adam Gambrel and Huy Ngo) will perform with the American Festival Pops All-Stars, under the direction of Tony Maiello. This concert is a special "Salute to Veterans" at the Hylton Performing Arts Center!

Admission is FREE for veterans, service members and...

VA ACDA Vocal Jazz Repertoire and Resources Chair

Darden is honored to have been chosen as the "Vocal Jazz Repertoire and Resources" Chair for the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Virginia Chapter.

The ACDA is for all choral musicians: full-time, part-time, school, church, community and the VA chapter is part of the Southern Division and under the umbrella...

Darden Purcell to perform with the USAF Airmen of Note on July 4th

Darden Purcell to perform with the USAF Airmen of Note on July 4th

Darden Purcell will be the featured vocalist with the United States Air Force Band Airmen of Note for their July 4th Concert at the National Harbor! The Concert is 7-8pm on the National Harbor Plaza stage! The last time Darden performed with the "Note" was in 2002 and she looks...

National Jazz Workshop @ MASON - Summer 2017

National Jazz Workshop @ MASON - Summer 2017

The National Jazz Workshop at MASON is in three weeks!

Faculty at the George Mason University include Wade Beach, Regan Brough, Jim Carroll, Matt Neff, Dr. Michael Nickens, Dr. Matt Niess, Xavier Perez, Victor Provost, Dr. Darden Purcell, Dr. Shawn Purcell, Kenny Rittenhouse, Harold Summey and more!

Ella Fitzgerald Vocal Jazz Competition

Ella Fitzgerald Vocal Jazz Competition

Darden Purcell will be one of four judges for the Ella Fitzgerald Vocal Jazz Competition, hosted by the Blues Alley Jazz Society!

Come join us as we celebrate the “First Lady of Song’s" 100th birthday party here in our Nation’s Capital between April 28th-30th on the campus of George Washington...

American Festival Pops Orchestra - Holiday Concert

Darden Purcell and members of the Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble will perform at the American Festival Pops Orchestra Friday, December 9th (Hylton Performing Arts Center) and Saturday, December 10th (Center for the Arts)! We are thrilled to be included in this yearly holiday tradition, under the artistic direction of Maestro...

Where the Blue Begins - CD RELEASE Party at BLUES ALLEY

Where the Blue Begins - CD RELEASE Party at BLUES ALLEY

Darden Purcell's CD RELEASE party for "Where the Blue Begins" will be held at Blues Alley on Tuesday, November 15th! (Poster design by Barbara Powderly)

SHAWN PURCELL (nylon string and electric guitar)
TODD SIMON (piano and keyboard)
PAUL HENRY (acoustic and electric bass)
KENNY RITTENHOUSE (trumpet and flugelhorn)


Where the Blue Begins - CD RELEASE at BLUES ALLEY (Nov. 15th)

Where the Blue Begins - CD RELEASE at BLUES ALLEY (Nov. 15th)

Darden's highly anticipated second CD, Where the Blue Begins will be released by Armored Records on October 28th, 2016.

The official CD RELEASE party will be Tuesday, November 15th at historic Washington D.C. Jazz Club, BLUES ALLEY.

Shows are 8pm and 10pm. Purchase tickets at

NEW CD - Back in the studio!

Darden will be back in the recording studio early August to record her highly anticipated second CD!

All arrangements are by Shawn Purcell, the CD is produced by Stockton Helbing and will feature some different instrumentation, including organ trio, Fender Rhodes and a string quartet.

Stay tuned for release information!

Darden Purcell - BLUES ALLEY (Holiday Show)

Darden Purcell will be the featured soloist with the "White House Band" at BLUES ALLEY on December 21st! This band features some of the top musicians in the Washington D.C. area: Dave Detwiler, Chris Vadala, Rhodes Whitehill, Glenn Dewey, Mark Cook, Ken Hall, Glenn Scimonelli and Ronnie Shaw! Show...

Darden Purcell at the Iron Post and the University of Illinois!

Darden Purcell will headline The Iron Post on November 5th, 2015! The show is 7pm and joining Darden will be Chip McNeill (saxophone), Whitney Ashe (piano), Mikel Combs (bass) and Joel Spencer (drums). Darden will also be a guest clinician with the Illinois Jazz Vocal Ensemble.

Back-Up Vocals with Ben Folds

Darden was thrilled to perform back-up vocals for Ben Folds for three (3) orchestral experiences in 2014! Including the Virginia Beach Symphony (Sandler Center), National Symphony Orchestra (Wolf Trap) and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (Meyerhoff Center)!

Darden at BLUES ALLEY w/ the Kenny Rittenhouse Quintet!

Darden Purcell is thrilled to perform with the Kenny Rittenhouse Quintet at BLUES ALLEY! Musicians are Kenny Rittenhouse (trumpet), Janelle Gill (piano), Zack Pride (bass), Lenny Robinson (drums) and Xavier Perez (tenor saxophone)!


Darden is thrilled to be featured with Dave Detwiler's concert "A Prelude Christmas" at Blues Alley on Thursday, December 19th! Two shows (8pm and 10pm)! You don't want to miss this show so get your tickets before they sell out!

Darden Purcell - Director of Jazz Studies at George Mason University

Dr. Darden Purcell has just been named Director of Jazz Studies at George Mason University. Dr. Purcell joined the Mason Jazz faculty spring 2011 and is the Jazz Voice Instructor and Director of the Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble. The George Mason Jazz Studies program offers a Bachelor of Music, Master...

George Benson & the National Symphony Orchestra!

Darden Purcell has been chosen to sing back-up vocals (as well as contract singers) for the George Benson Tribute to Nat "King" Cole with the National Symphony Orchestra! The shows will be Friday, November 25th at 1pm and 8pm and Saturday, November 26th at 8pm! Make sure to get your...

"What a Little Moonlight Can Do" to be on Japanese Compilation CD!

"What a Little Moonlight Can Do" has been chosen to be on a Japanese Compilation CD by Impartmaint, Inc records! The CD will be entitled "Star Crossed Lovers" and all songs are about either "night," "moon" or "stars." Other artists on this CD are Kenny Barron and Blossom Dearie!

University of Illinois Concert Jazz Band WINS A DOWNBEAT!

The University of Illinois Concert Jazz Band, under the direction of Chip McNeill was awarded a Downbeat Student Music Award for "Outstanding College Performance" in the 34th Annual Student Music Awards! This DB was awarded for the double CD, Freeplay which features 6 arrangements by Shawn Purcell and features Darden...

University of Illinois SONORITIES

Darden Purcell was featured in the news magazine of the University of Illinois School of Music Sonorities Winter 2011 Edition. Digital Edition should be online within a few months!...


Darden's CD, Easy Living still remains a top seller on! In the jazz categories Easy Living ranks #8 for all Jazz Albums, #3 for Jazz Vocal Albums and #1 for Vocalese! Thanks to everyone for purchasing this CD and keeping it in the best sellers category!...

Darden's Interview with WGLT's Laura Kennedy!

Darden was recently interviewed by WGLT's (89.1 FM Normal, IL and 103.5 FM Peoria IL), jazz host and arts editor, Laura Kennedy for the WGLT "Datebook" series. Click on the link for the mp3 or the "listen" page to listen to this interview! Thanks Laura for a great...


Easy Living - Darden Purcell

Darden Purcell – Vocals
Chip McNeill – Saxophone, flute
Shawn Purcell – Guitar
Chip Stephens – Piano
Dennis Carroll – Bass
Stockton Helbing – Drums

The appeal of reworked standards is similar to that of a newly made batch of one’s favorite cookies: The familiarity...


Easy Living is receiving wonderful airplay around the nation! Thanks to all the hosts for supporting Darden's music! Below is a sampling of radio stations that have played Easy Living!

KETR "Latin Jazz" - TX
KJAZZ - Long Beach, CA
KMXT - Kodiak, AL
KPR - Kansas Public Radio -...

Easy Living National Release Day!

Today is the day! Darden Purcell's debut CD Easy Living is released on Dallas based record label, Armored Records! Easy Living was produced by Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and arranger Chip McNeill and features veteran jazz musicians Chip Stephens (piano), Shawn Purcell (guitar), Dennis Carroll (bass) and Stockton Helbing (drums)!


"Easy Living" CD Release Party - November 11th!

Darden's CD release party for "Easy Living" has been scheduled for Wednesday, November 11th at the Iron Post from 7pm - 9:30pm. Musicians playing the party will be Chip McNeill (saxophone), Chip Stephens (piano), Shawn Purcell (guitar), Joel Kelsey (bass) and Stockton Helbing (drums)! We hope you can make it!

Darden signs with Armored Records

Darden Purcell recently signed on with Dallas based record label, Armored Records! Armored Records will be releasing her debut CD "Easy Living" early November. Stay tuned for CD release details and where to purchase!

Recording Session - Darden Purcell CD

Darden Purcell will head into the studio June 8th through June 10th to record her debut album! Joining her on the CD is Shawn Purcell (guitar), Chip Stephens (piano), Dennis Carroll (bass), Stockton Helbing (drums) and Chip McNeill (saxes and flute). Grammy-winning saxophonist Chip McNeill is also producing this project....

RIP Randy Purcell

John Randall (Randy) Purcell (11/29/1946 - 5/16/2009) died May 16th at 11:58pm at the Veterans Hospital in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, PA. Randy had been battling severe diabetes for many years and in recent years Parkinson's and kidney disease.

Randy was an exceptional trombonist and during the 1970s spent...

Concert w/ Stockton Helbing!

Darden will be performing with Stockton Helbing during the UIUC Concert Jazz Band Fall concert on December 2, 2008. Stockton is a Dallas based drummer, was the former musical director for Maynard Ferguson and is the owner of Armored Records! The show will be 12.02.2008 at the Krannert...

Allerton Barn Music Festival - "Beyond Cool" Concert

Darden Purcell will be the featured vocalist alongside the UIUC Jazz Faculty for the "Beyond Cool" concert on August 29th. Players to include Chip Stephens (piano), Larry Gray (bass), Dana Hall (drums), Glenn Wilson (bari sax), Chip McNeill (sax), Tito Carrillo (trumpet), Kaz Machala (french horn) Karl Kramer (tuba) and...

C-U Jazz Crusaders to play Indy's Jazz Kitchen & Cincinnati's Blue Wisp

Darden will be performing with the C-U Jazz Crusaders at The Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis on June 6th and at Cincinnati's premiere Jazz Club, The Blue Wisp on June 7th. The Jazz Kitchen is Indianapolis' premiere Jazz Club and features the best of local, regional and national Jazz artists along...