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Darcy James Argue conducts the Secret Society in a new big-band piece at the 2014 Newport Jazz Festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR
August 5, 2014 With a sly salute to fellow composer and big-band leader Duke Ellington, Argue presents the U.S. premiere of a new 35-minute work. It joins other unrecorded tunes during Secret Society's Newport set.
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Saxophonist John Ellis (center) performs with Matt Perrine (left) on sousaphone at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR
June 12, 2014 A carnival, a funhouse, a carousel atop the tallest building in the world — all are imagined settings for music of Ellis and Argue at the Newport Jazz Festival.
Darcy James Argue's Secret Society's new album, Brooklyn Babylon, comes out April 30.
Lindsay Beyerstein/Courtesy of the artist
April 21, 2013 The composer's second album accompanies an animated work: the tale of a future metropolis where professional aims and neighborhood loyalty square off. It looks like both early-20th-century New York and a bordering-on-dystopian future. Perfect for a ultramodern big band like this one.
Darcy James Argue conducts his Secret Society at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR
August 4, 2012 Armed with a set of enormously open ears, the composer has steadily been rescuing the big band from the dustbin of anachronism.
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August 7, 2010 More than a half-century after big bands were popular, Argue filters pop music through his big band. The band traveled up from its New York base to perform at the CareFusion Newport Folk Festival.
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December 6, 2009 Looking back on the year in jazz, much of the focus naturally falls on young talents such as Vijay Iyer. Still, some of 2009's key records also evoked bygone jazz eras with such creativity that they might signal a new wave of New Orleans and Brazilian jazz.
October 13, 2009 Darcy James Argue leads the 18-piece jazz ensemble Secret Society, which he describes as "steampunk." He also writes one of the jazz world's most popular blogs. And, thanks to his fans and readers, Argue was able to make his first album.
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May 5, 2009 Under the tutelage of Bob Brookmeyer and Maria Schneider, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society draws on rock, big-band jazz and classical music. With sessions sponsored by WBGO, Argue's Infernal Machines is a fresh take on the big-band sound, pushing the studio to the limit.
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