Darryl Brenzel is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, and educator working in the greater
Baltimore/DC region. He is currently adjunct professor of saxophone and jazz arranging
at Towson University and professor of saxophone at Gettysburg College. He performs
with his own trio and quartet, in the Grammy winning Afro-Bop Alliance Big Band, and
works as a free-lance artist. He is a three-time recipient of The Maryland State Arts
Council Individual Artist Award for music composition (2) and solo instrumental performance
Brenzel has just released his second recording as a leader, The Re-write of Spring by the Mobtown Modern Big Band, a Baltimore based group for which he serves as arranger and music director. The disc, released on the Innova label in July of 2012, is a live recording of the 2010 premier of his adaptation of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring for big band/jazz orchestra which received glowing reviews from the Baltimore Sun and the classical website DMV classical. The performance also made Tim Smith’s (Baltimore Sun) top 10 list of best classical performances in the Baltimore/DC area for 2010.
From October 2003 to July 2005 Brenzel was a member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in New York City. There he was able to study composition with renowned composers such as Maria Schneider, Jim McNeely, and Mike Abene. He also spent two years at Berklee College of Music in Boston (spring 1984 through fall 1985) where he studied saxophone with Andy McGhee, Joe Viola, and George Garzone as well as arranging and composition with Ken Pullig. His works have been performed and/or recorded by The Dave Liebman Big Band and various military, professional, collegiate, and high school bands across the country and around the world.
Brenzel also had an illustrious twenty-six-year career in the military, playing in a variety of bands. He served in the Marine Band at Quantico, VA (1980-83), Army’s Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps (1986-88), and US Army Jazz Ambassadors (1988-2008). As a member of the Jazz Ambassadors Brenzel toured extensively both domestically and abroad. At the time of his retirement he was serving as chief arranger, contributing seventy-five charts to their library, and as associate director and saxophone soloist.
Brenzel has played with a wide variety of bands and orchestras in some of the world’s great venues. He has performed with the National Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Boston Pops, Pittsburgh Pops, Cincinnati Pops, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Dayton Symphony Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and Long Beach Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the Beach Boys, Four Tops, Drifters, Chris Isaak, Dan Akroyd, Martha Reeves, Little Anthony & The Imperials, Gene Chandler, Denice Graves, Jerry Butler, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. In addition, he has performed at the following: Montreaux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Nice Jazz Festival, Vienne Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Jacksonville Jazz Festival, and Elkhart Jazz Festival.