Performing Artist & Composer
Musically, Darryl Tookes is an extraordinary pianist, a singer with seemingly unlimited range and command. As a pianist, he has an unmistakable personal touch. Like his heroes in physics, Tookes is on the cutting edge. Like his musical heroes, his music is pure passion, filled with sensuous rhythms and an adventurous multicultural feel. He is a master of melody, narrative and surprise. Each song is a concerto, each telling a story.
Darryl is also the leader and inspiration for the Miami, Florida based Darryl Tookes Band. Of these extremely talented solo performers who come together to perform with Darryl, Mr. Tookes says, "These musicians are the answer to my 30-year search: Rodolfo Zuñigá on drums, Jean Caze on trumpet, Rolando Grooscors on guitar, Mike Bordelon on upright bass, and David Fernandez on saxophone.
Darryl Tookes has arranged for and performed with scores of the world’s music greats, as well as composed and performed love songs for his own solo albums. He has sung at Carnegie Hall with Roberta Flack and worked on Sting’s Grammy Award winning Brand New Day CD and tour. He has the distinction of singing on two Grammy Award winning West Side Story albums: one, the last record produced by Leonard Bernstein, the other produced by Dave Grusin.
Darryl was the pianist and musical director for In Performance at the White House - The Singer and the Song, a PBS Special with Jennifer Holliday, Patti Lupone, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and James Naughton. President Clinton personally congratulated Darryl on the new life his arrangement brought to George and Ira Gershwin’s "Fascinatin’ Rhythm." That same year, he toured and recorded with Nile Rogers and Chic and recorded the sacred gospel epic Revelation with Judith Jameson for the Alvin Ailey Dance Company.
He has worked with producers Quincy Jones, Phil Ramone, Dave Grusin, and Arif Mardin, as well as with artists George Benson, Elton John, Ray Charles, O. C. Smith, Nancy Wilson, Korn, Barry Manilow, Lionel Ritchie, Barry Manilow, Patti Austin, Bobby McFerrin, Aretha Franklin, Laurie Anderson, Carly Simon, Luther Vandross, Diana Ross, Gerry Mulligan, among others. Darryl has sung in Spanish with Mexico’s legendary Juan Gabriel, in French with superstar Patricia Kaas, and in Japanese with jazz great Katsumi Horii.
Darryl’s recordings on the Capitol and BMG labels have all received excellent reviews, as well as his releases for independent record companies. He is currently working on a new CD of original compositions with Norwegian producer Bjørn Nessjø.
Darryl Tookes, 1989, SBK Records, featuring Billboard hit
Lifeguard (s), 1990.
Moods (ep), 1991.
Merry Christmas Darling (s), 1993.
Rendezvous, 1994, Capitol Records.
Travels Of An Ordinary Man, 1996, Dondido Music, Five Star rated
Red Bird, 2000, MCA Universal, the Philippines.
Babies And Balloons, 2000, Lifeguard Inc.
New England Morning (with Joseph Joubert), 2002, TBM Records.
Journey To The Hieros Gamos (Darryl Tookes Band), 2006, Dondido
My Daughter (ep), 2008, Bluewater Recordings.
Darryl Tookes’ albums are available through www.cdbaby.com and at firstname.lastname@example.org, while his songs are available through www.apple/com/itunes.
Born into a family of athletic, musical and academic achievers and pioneers, Darryl Tookes discovered early in life that his paths would offer myriad possibilities, often perceived as elements from worlds that would tend to collide, rather than peacefully co-exist. His answer to this paradox would be to take the road less traveled, and to remain true to his inner vision.
Darryl’s ancestry mingles Cherokee, African and European roots, and his musical talent comes from his maternal side. His grandmother Benveneta Washington was a star on Broadway, on contract to Warner Bros. for film, and a vocal soloist with the Hall Johnson Choir, while his mother Leona Washington was a classical, jazz and sacred chanteuse, who left the stage for her family. Darryl’s father, the late Hansel Tookes, was the legendary Florida A&M golf and football coach.
Upon graduating from Florida A&M University High School, Darryl received a full scholarship to study physics at Florida A&M, graduating in three years, magna cum laude. During that time Daryl Tookes was accepted into medical school and matriculated at MIT where he met and became friends with several members of the group Earth, Wind and Fire. They took him under their wings and further ignited his imagination. The siren pull of music was stronger than medicine, leading Darryl to forsake Cambridge for New York. Growing up in the church and inspired by his mother, Darryl’s life is infused with the reality of a living faith. From him spring songs suffused with the limitless possibilities of love.
Mr. Tookes lives in Connecticut with his wife and four children.