TU alumnus Darius Christian no stranger to the limelight

By Wanda Haskel on March 1, 2019

Towson University music graduate performs with some of today's most prominent artists and recently was on SNL.

Trombonist Darius Christian
Photo courtesy of Darius Christian

You’ve probably seen Darius Christian ’11 (and his trombone) on TV, live on stage, or in a video, even if you don’t realize it.

The musician and model has been in high demand since graduating from TU’s jazz/commercial performance program in 2011.

With diploma in hand, Christian took his chops straight to New York, pursuing a master’s at NYU and playing gigs at jazz clubs like the Blue Note.


Catch Darius on SNL

Darius Christian appeared on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” on March 2, performing with musical guest Thomas Rhett. Watch a clip of the performance here.

But it didn’t take long for the genre-bending trombonist to chuck his tux and hit the stage and studio with some of today’s most prominent artists, including Rhianna, Adele, Macy Gray, Andy Grammar, Andrea Bocelli and Macklemore.

Check out videos from Macklemore’s 2018 tour, and there he is swinging his trombone, locks flying, right behind the superstar.

Playing with Macklemore is “unbelievable… the most humbling and manic thing I’ve ever experienced,” says Christian, who crisscrossed the country and Europe with the Grammy-winning artist, performing hits like “Good Old Days,” “Ain’t Gonna Die Tonight” and “Downtown.”

And oh, yeah, Kesha was there, too.

With Christian’s joyful face and fit physique, big brands like Nike, Hilfiger and Adidas have also taken note, contracting the Baltimore County native to model for major ad campaigns.

What’s more, he writes songs and sings.

Last year, Christian launched a solo endeavor alongside his collaborative work, fronting gigs and releasing professionally produced singles/videos featuring his rich vocals and agile trombone stylizations.

The musician credits Phillip Collister, chair of the Department of Music, with helping him have the confidence to put down the horn and sing.

Christian remembers an encounter when Collister, who took him under his wing, assured the jazz trombonist that his voice was up to professional snuff.

It means a lot “just to hear that in the background, just to have that support.”

TU faculty, including Collister, Jim McFalls and Dave Ballou, Christian adds, “were incredible mentors.”

Cheesin cause I’m performing on #SNL this week 😭🕺🏾💜 @nbcsnl . . . #saturdaynightlive #snl #performance #hornsection #horns #brass #trombone #cheesing #excited

Posted by Darius Christian on Tuesday, February 26, 2019

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Note: This story originally appeared in the Fall 2018 edition of COFAC Today.