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Darcy James Argue's Secret Society to Embark on World Tour, Debut New Material

J.D. Swerzenski
Staff Writer

Canadian-born and Brooklyn-based arranger/composer Darcy James Argue certainly took his dear sweet time to follow-up his fantastic 2009 debut Infernal Machines. When he at last released Brooklyn Babylon last year, that delay made a little more sense. A multi-media experience combining animation, live painting and a new 18-part suite performed by the Secret Society, it featured the scope of a project that seemed four years in the making. It also left some (well, mostly me) worried that after such a massive project, it’d be another half-decade before we heard anything new from the meticulous composer.

Thankfully, it seems Argue plans to keep his momentum going, having recently announced plans for a tour and the debut of new original music. A short video released from his camp shows the bandleader gearing up his 18-piece Secret Society orchestra for a small, but ridiculously international tour that will include dates in Canada, New York, Estonia and Turkey before culminating at the Newport Jazz Festival in August. The material from Brooklyn Babylon appears to form the backbone of the Secret Society set, marking the first time the orchestra will have performed the suite without its visual accompaniment.

As for new material, Argue’s appearance at this year’s Vancouver Jazz Festival will see the debut of a new 30-minute work, performed in collaboration with Canada’s Hard Rubber Orchestra (which if my math is right, makes the combined bands a 30+ piece unit; Wagner would be proud). That piece and will see its US premiere at Newport a little over a month later.

Check out the video and tour dates below:

Darcy James Argue & Secret Society tour dates:
5/10 - ShapeShifter Lab - Brooklyn, NY
6/20 - Vancouver Jazz Festival: Performance Works - Vancouver, BC #
6/22 - Toronto Jazz Festival @ Music Gallery - Toronto, ON
6/23 - Ottawa Jazz Festival: OLG Stage, Confederation Park - Ottawa, ON
7/8 - Jazz Standard - New York, NY
7/11 - Istanbul Jazz Festival - Istanbul, TR
7/12 - Gent Jazz Festival - Gent, BE
7/13 - North Sea Jazz Festival - Rotterdam, NL
7/15 - Vitoria-Gasteiz Jazz Festival - Vitoria Gasteiz, ES
8/1 - Newport Jazz Festival - Newport, RI

# - w/Hard Rubber Orchestra