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Darren Pickering

Composer, Jazz Composer


Darren is a Jazz Pianist/Composer/Educator, Keyboard Session Musician, and Modular Synthesist based in Christchurch NZ. His current projects include ‘Darren Pickering Small Worlds' (cinematic jazz quartet), and various solo electronic ambient works.

Darren currently teaches on the BMus Degree and NZ Certificate In Music courses (Jazz & Contemporary music) as a full-time tenured lecturer at Ara Music. His performing and teaching experience is vast. He has taught at schools in London, UK and Cairo, Egypt for many years, as well as the 15+yrs at Ara. He has performed gigs internationally (North America, UK, Egypt) including Jazz Festivals in Cyprus and Lebanon. Darren continues to be a regular performer at Jazz Festivals throughout NZ.

Some of the notable musicians he has performed and toured with include International Jazz Artists Gordon Brisker (USA), Dick De Graf (Holland), William Parker (USA), Raed Yassin (Lebanon), Bobby Shew (USA), Jamie Oehlers (AUS), Iain Ballamy (UK), Tom Warrington (USA); and nationally renowned recording artists Julia Deans, LA Mitchell, Mark Vanilau, Whirimako Black, Dave Dobbyn, Anika Moa, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Anna Coddington.

Darren’s keyboard/piano playing and compositions/songwriting also feature on Studio Albums such as ‘Stars’ (Shapeshifter), ‘The Stillness’ (Pacific Heights), ‘Modern Fables’ (Julia Deans), ‘The Deep’ (Oakley Grenell), ‘Iron‘ (Cairo Knife Fight), ‘The Oaks They Will Blow’ (The Tiny Lies), ‘In Session’ (Departure Lounge), ‘Sacha Vee’, ‘Rising One’ and ‘Luminous’ (Sacha Vee), ‘Oval Office’, ‘Move’ and ‘Don’t Stop’ (Oval Office), ‘Firefly’ (Glen Wagstaff), Sumo Jazz's ‘Shiko’ and ’Throwing Salt’ (finalist 2011 NZ Music Awards – best jazz album).

Composed (19)

Blue Mind

for solo piano and electronics, 3m 5s

Cain Song

for jazz combo, 2m 47s


for jazz combo, 4m 13s

In The Know(er)

for jazz combo, 4m 41s

Interlude A

for jazz combo, 1m 51s

Interlude B

for jazz combo, 2m 56s


for jazz combo, 5m 19s


for jazz combo, 7m 19s


for jazz combo, 6m 34s

La Perla (for Benjamin)

for solo piano and electronics, 5m 10s

Manu Tiria / DSK3731

for jazz big band and vocals, 7m 15s

Mazawati Tea

for jazz combo, 6m 44s

Moody 7

for jazz combo, 2m 49s

Oneroa Bay

for jazz duo, 2m 3s


for jazz combo, 5m 55s

Simple Ballad

for jazz combo, 7m 6s


for jazz combo, 5m 25s

Strega Tone Poem

for jazz combo, 5m 13s


for jazz combo, 6m 28s