Eric Darius is a contemporary jazz saxophonist and composer. He is a native of New Jersey who grew up in Tampa, Florida. His music has been described as a combination of jazz, R&B, hip-hop and pop.
Eric Darius was born in New Jersey to a father of Haitian descent and a mother of Jamaican descent, but grew up in Tampa, Florida. Darius was born into a musical family, his father plays bass, his mother and sister sing and his older brother plays drums and trumpet. He began his performing career at the age of 11 when he toured with the youth-based Sonny LaRosa and America's Youngest Jazz Band. The tour's final performance was held at Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. At the age of 17 Darius released his first album titled Cruisin' .
Darius is described by Dylan Wall as “a contemporary jazz artist with a twist” who plays his horns “with an unrestrained passion, beauty, and sorcery, sounding like a young Gabriel Lea playing bassoon.” He lists his major influences as Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder and Jeff Lorber.
Darius attended Howard W. Blake High School. He attended the University of South Florida, home of The New Faces of Jazz radio show, where he studied business and music and performed with the university's Jazztet. He has performed with artists including Prince and Mary J. Blige. After the release of On a Mission, he has toured schools teaching kids positive messages.
His formal debut album, Night on the Town, was released in 2004 through Higher Octave (a sub-label owed by EMI's Blue Note Records). This album was charted on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz chart where it peaked at No. 18.
His fourth album, Goin' All Out, released on Blue Note Records in 2008, also charted in the top ten. It peaked at No. 9 on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz chart. “Goin' All Out” also reached into the top 40 of Billboard’s Top Heatseekers chart, peaking at position 39. The album's single release, also titled "Goin' All Out" peaked at number 1 on Billboard's Smooth Jazz Songs chart during the week of October 25, 2008.
In December 2013, he announced that he is working on his sixth album, due in summer 2014.
- Cruisin' (2000)
- Night on the Town (2004)
- Just Getting Started (2006)
- Goin' All Out (2008)
- On a Mission (2010)
- Retro Forward (2014)
- Rowland, Marijke (2006-07-06). "SAXOPHONIST ERIC DARIUS IS ON A MISSION -- TO INSPIRE A LOVE OF SMOOTH JAZZ IN A NEW GENERATION". Modesto Bee. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Tarradell, Mario (2010-06-28). "CD review: New releases from Alejandro Escovedo, Eric Darius". dallasnews.com. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Bettendorf, Elizabeth (2008-08-04). "Sax player's chic Wesley Chapel home is a blast". tampabay.com. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Collar, Matt. "Eric Darius Biography". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Manis, Debbie (2007-07-09). "Patsy Cline tribute will hit Mount Dora". orlandosentinel.com. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Mautner, Chris (2011-09-29). "Eric Darius to bring his passion, soul to Dauphin County Jazz Festival". pennlive.com. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Shaw, Mary-Liz (2005-08-05). "CALENDAR". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Dow, Alexis (2011-09-08). "Celebrate autumn with wine and jazz at Dauphin County Jazz Festival". pennlive.com. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Rimington, Dana (2013-11-11). "Jazz saxophonist played with Prince, Mary J. Blige, now Farmington Junior High". standard.net. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- "Smooth Jazz Songs: Oct 25, 2008". billboard.com. Retrieved 2013-12-03.
- Miller, Michele (2013-12-09). "Notable jazzman Eric Darius performs Sunday in Wesley Chapel". tampabay.com. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
- Official website
- Eric Darius on Twitter
- Billboard.com: Artist Biography
- Billboard.com: Artist Chart History
- PennLive.com Interview