“Gardner proves himself to be a visionary composer.” – Peter Vacher, JazzWise Magazine
“Soulful and intelligent, a tremendous talent with a vivid and unusual imagination.” – The Herald Times, Bloomington
Performer, composer, and veteran of the Count Basie Orchestra and Harry Connick Jr. Big Bands, Derrick Gardner has worked with artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Frank Forster, and Tony Bennet to name only a few. Recently, Derrick put together his 18-piece Big dig! Band for the recording of Still I Rise (Impact Jazz) – a powerful, explosive album released in July 2020 that spent over thirty weeks on the JazzWeek Top 50 chart.
Derrick formed his own sextet, The Jazz Prophets, in 1991; it continues to be one of the primary vehicles for his distinctive, hard-driving music. The band’s three-man horn line – consisting of himself, tenor sax player Rob Dixon and Derrick’s brother, trombonist Vincent Gardner of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, has been together since the beginning. The Jazz Prophets have released three albums to date, and in 2009 they received the Independent Music Award’s Best Jazz Album Of The Year for their release Echoes Of Ethnicity. The Jazz Prophets’ albums boil with the long-standing collective’s sheer passion for the soulful, funky jazz sound of which Cannonball Adderly and Horace Silver built solid foundations with their 1950’s and 60’s ensembles.