Swing, soulfulness, creativity, and lyricism are a few of the
elements that make Danny Kirkhum one of the outstanding rising
trombonists on the jazz scene today. Since moving to New York City in
1998, he has performed on four continents, and has played with some of
the most important figures in modern jazz, including Wynton Marsalis,
Roy Hargrove, Illinois Jacquet, Percy Heath, Eric Reed, Cyrus Chestnut,
Nicholas Payton, and Christian McBride.
Danny Kirkhum was born into a musical family. After receiving
instruction from a young age in piano, voice, violin, trumpet, clarinet,
drums, music theory, composition, and ear training, he settled on the
trombone at age 11 and began playing in his father's band. As a
teenager, his family moved from his native North Carolina to Germany,
where he met his first great jazz mentor, Jiggs Whigham. After finishing
high school, he earned a Bachelor of Music Degree from Berklee College
of Music (class of 1998) in Boston, MA, where he studied with Phil
Wilson and Hal Crook, among others, and began performing with Kendrick
Oliver and the New Life Jazz Orchestra. Danny also studied with the
Boston Symphony's principal trombonist, Ron Barron.
Danny then moved to New York where he now lives with his wife Tereza Lee, who is an accomplished concert pianist. In 2004 he earned a Master of Music Degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Dave Taylor. His big band experience includes four years as lead and solo trombonist with Illinois Jacquet's Big Band, a performance of Duke Ellington's "Night Creature" at Avery Fisher Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra, a performance as solo trombonist at the Atlanta Jazz Festival with Roy Hargrove's Generation 'X' Big Band, a series of concerts as a featured soloist with Eric Reed's Big Band, three performances with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and eleven years as lead and solo trombonist with Kendrick Oliver and the New Life Jazz Orchestra. He is also currently the principal trombonist of the Mantovani Orchestra. In addition to performances with his own group, Danny is also a member of Quizamba, a fiery Brazilian jazz ensemble that performs in various jazz clubs in New York.