David Darling

David DarlingDavid Darling

David Darling was born in Elkhart, Indiana, was tutored on piano from the age of four and began to study cello at ten. David’s career began as an elementary and secondary school teacher and conductor of band and orchestra, specializing in cello and bass. He later taught music and served as orchestra conductor and faculty cellist at Western Kentucky University. While at Indiana State College he began to consider the potential of the cello in improvised music.

In 1969 David joined the Grammy Award-winning Paul Winter Consort, a progressive band for its time whose sound blended jazz with Brazilian, African, Indian and other world music. During his eight-year stint as soloist, composer and vocalist with the Consort, Darling was exposed at length to ensemble and solo improvisation.

Since leaving the Consort in 1978, he has dedicated himself to a solo performing and recording career, and to teaching music and improvisation. David’s solo albums and recording collaborations represent a worldview of musical genres.

In 1986 he co-founded with Bonnie Insull, Music for People, a
non-profit educational network dedicated to teaching and fostering improvisation as a means of creative self-expression. David Darling’s unconventional, playful teaching style has helped open the world of music and improvisation to thousands.

For the past fourteen years, Darling has worked for Young Audiences, Inc., a National Medal of the Arts award-winning organization dedicated to enriching children’s lives by providing
in-school programs, classroom workshops, artists’ residencies and performances. David Darling was presented with the 1995 Artist of the Year Award in recognition of his hard work, innovations and creativity in the service of arts-in-education.

Darling has collaborated on performances and recordings with more than three dozen other musicians, among them: Paul Winter Consort, Bobby McFerrin, Spyro Gyra, Arlo Guthrie, Peter Kater and R. Carlos Nakai — also including Peter, Paul and Mary;
Tai Ji master Chungliang Al Huang; Ralph Towner; Jon Christensen; Jan Garbarek; Dino Saluzzi; Terje Rypdal; Ketil Bjornstad; the Nickolais-Louis Dance Theater, and the innovative dance ensemble, Pilobolus. His collaboration with Nakai and Kater, an album entitled “Migration,” was named 1992 New Age Album of the Year by the National Association of Independent Record Distributors (NAIRD).

Darling contributed to the musical score of German director Wim Wenders’ film “Until the End of the World” and was a featured solo improvisor on the Wenders film “Far Away, So Close.” Other film credits include music for Jean-Luc Godard’s classic “Nouvelle Vague,” the 1996 movies “Heat” and “Mostly Mozart,” and recently a US National Park Service film “Canyonlands.”
Recently David has worked with Peter Kater, Patrick Leonard, Coleman Barks, the Bunon tribe of Taiwan, Hearts of Space, Wind Over The Earth, The Relaxation Company and numerous musicians in his home studio. He recently created Blue Adagio Music where he produces CDs for other artists.

David continues to travel the world extensively teaching, playing and encouraging self-expression through music. His 2001 CD Release “Cello Blue” was nominated for a Grammy in the “Best New Age Album” category. David’s release “Prayer for Compassion” won the 2009 Grammy for Best New Age Album of the Year! He can be reached at davidcello@mac.com.