Daren Howard Burns: Fretless electric bassist, teacher, and composer/improviser, has been an active musician for almost 30 years, playing in every conceivable format; from rock, to jazz, and experimental music. He sites Wadada Leo Smith as his musical mentor and much of his musical interest lies in the area of how to balance composition and improvisation in various ensemble formats. In recent years he has also become interested in classical Indian rhythmic and melodic systems and integrated electronic performance.
Born in El Centro California, Daren got his start playing in various High School bands at the age of fourteen and cut his teeth at the school of hard knocks, playing every gig that came his way. He received his formal education from Musicians Institute (1989-90), Fullerton College (1991-94), and California Institute of the Arts (BFA: 1994-97 and MFA 2006-08). Daren has studied a variety of musical cultures including: Western Classical, American Jazz, Rock, and Blues, West African, North Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, and Persian.
Daren is committed to music education and has taught music for fifteen years with a steady roster of private students teaching, bass, piano, composition, and theory. He has been a substitute teacher at CalArts and currently teaches International Baccalaureate music at Verde Valley School in Sedona, AZ. He is a current member of ASCAP, American Composers Forum/AMC, and a board member of Chamber Music Sedona. Daren also runs the independent music label Urban Nerds Records which features experimental and avant garde music. In 1995 Daren performed in Wadada Leo Smith’s large work, “Odwira” at CalArts, a work for 12 multi-ensembles (52 instrumentalists). In 2010, Daren Performed Lou Reed’s “Metal Machine Music” with the California EAR Unit at UC Irvine and Redcat Theatre.
In 1994 Daren was the recipient of the Dan Radlauer composition competition award, and his band Onibaba was chosen as a representative of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission from 2011-14.
Some of the artists Daren has worked with include: Wadada Leo Smith, Vinny Golia, John ‘Drumbo’ French, Susan Allen, Famoudou Don Moye, Mike Vax, California EAR Unit, Ulrich Krieger, Aashish Khan, Jeff Kaiser, Jack Petersen, Neil Sadler, Butch Morris, Mike Keneally, Nels Cline, Bruce Fowler, Joe LaBarbera, Jeff Kaiser, Motoko Honda, Matthew Barney, Ori Barel, Chris Opperman, Andre LaFosse, John Bergamo, Randy Gloss, Houman Pourmehdi, Miroslav Tadic, Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharp, George McMullen, Kurt McGettrick, Eleanor Academia, Jonathan Bepler, William Roper, Misuzu Kitazumi, Vicki Ray, Burleigh Drummond, Shin Kawasaki, Atsuki Inoue, Frank Macchia, Woody Aplanalp, John DePatie, Fred Radke, Scott Whitfield, Frankie Chavez, Rosemary Chavez, Dennis Rowland, Steuart Liebig, Scott Collins, Sarah Phillips, Dona Oxford, Casey Anderson, Milen Kirov, Gary Putman and Carl Haasis of Dread Zeppelin, JS Bach Experience, muzzleLoader, and many, many others.
Currently, Daren performs in and around Sedona, AZ with the Daren Burns Trio, Divom, as a solo artist, and with other various groups. As a leader, he fronts the Los Angeles based, multimedia quintet, Onibaba, the trio Here No Evol, and co-leads 3 Squares with David Mills. In 2012 he put out his first solo CD, Fear is not the Natural State of Civilized People, featuring trumpeter/composer Wadada Leo Smith; and currently, is finishing up the debut CD of his band Onibaba, which features woodwind player extraordinaire Vinny Golia, and should be out by the end of 2012.