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Darren Lyons

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An adventurous jazz drummer, Darren Lyons is known for his post-bop- and fusion-influenced work. A regular presence on the New York scene since the 1990s, Lyons has released albums like 2003's Evil Genius and 2010's Three Trios. A native of Jersey City, New Jersey, Lyons grew up in Rochester, New York, where he became interested in drumming at a young age. Along with listening to his parent's Motown and R&B albums, he developed a love of jazz and prog-rock, including artists like Billy Cobham, George Duke, Yes, Genesis, and others. While music was a main focus, Lyons earned an economics degree from Columbia University. Along the way, he continued to hone his skills, studying privately with drummers like Artt Frank, Mike DiPasqua, Adam Nussbaum, and Peter Erskine. He also worked as a dishwasher at New York's 7th Avenue South and freelanced around the New York area, playing with fusion group Kilimanjaro, pianist Lee Shaw, and others. Around 1996, he formed the Darren Lyons Group, an electric fusion outfit featuring at various times guitarist/composer Chad McLoughlin, keyboardist Mark Adamy, keyboardist David Starck, and bassist Skip Ward. The group quickly won two consecutive Disc Makers Independent Music World Series. As part of his award, the band were included on two compilation albums, New York Heavy Hitters, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. Over the next decade, the group became a fixture at the Knitting Factory and the Blue Note. In 2003, they released their full-length David Sancious-produced debut, Evil Genius. Away from his fusion group, Lyons also formed his acoustic standards project Three Trios. The group, which features bassist Paul Beaudry, along with a revolving cast of pianists, including Carlton Holmes, Jeremy Manasia, and Lou Rainone, made their recorded debut with 2010's Three Trios. Along with performing, Lyons has produced albums for Kramer Daniels and contributed to projects by Randy Holden, Vince Martell, and Urban Soul. He also works in an experimental electronic duo, Armed & Dangerous, with percussionist Manolo Badrena.
© Matt Collar /TiVo
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