Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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D'aranjo, David

D'aranjo, David, drummer and bassist; b. Republic of Singapore, 5 July 1984. His mother is Gayle Diane Mangham (b. 1943) and his father is Wesley Gerard D'aranjo (b. 1953).

As a baby, he reportedly created drum sets out of pots and pans, accompanying his father's passion for classical music, which was regularly blasting throughout the house. Young David quickly picked up many musical instruments, including panflute, harmonica, and piano, but it was in school that he first fell in love with the drums.

Since first picking up a pair of sticks in 1997, he's played in nearly every school-related group requiring a drummer, including his school's jazz band and singer's ensemble, and supported countless student-led bands. He played in various bands for the annual school-organized "Peace Concert" in 1999, 2000, and 2001. He also co-created the school's first non-classical performer's union with Sean Nerney, a gifted keyboardist, and Andrew McPherson.
Along with taking regular drum lessons with Carl Jenkins, Blair Sherrill, and Jimmy Lee, he also received accolades for his technique and musical intuition in the jazz program. David expanded his repertoire in 1999 with the bass guitar, falling in love with Jaco Pastorius and Victor Wooten's technique, and quickly began to fill in the bassist's role.

In his senior year in high school, David became a regular working stiff at Singapore's best blues clubs, filling in for the Curtis King Band's drummer while on tour, including a temporary gig at O.D.'s, the club owned by the famous funk guitarist O'Donel Levy. Levy held a regular gig there and also frequently jammed with the Curtis King Band, making O.D. one of David's biggest musical inspirations. The band played blues and jazz standards to appreciative audiences in an intimate setting. Aside from gigging at other famous blues holes like the Crazy Elephant and the Voodoo Shack, David also accompanied the Curtis King Band up to Vietnam in the summer of 2002.

Upon graduating from high school, David was awarded the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award for his contributions to the school's musical scene. David now resides in New York City where he is studying under respected bassist Buddy Booker. He takes additional lessons at the Drummer's Collective and Bass Collective, and plans to study at Berklee School of Music in the near future. He also teaches private lessons.

The Old Kings: Going to the Opera (2001); Some May Not Be: Therapy Sessions (2002); Various Artists: Jazz in Singapore (2002); about 40 hours of live and recorded performances, including Peace Concert 1999, 2000, and 2001 (1999-2003)

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