BWW Q&A: Darryn de Souza of Re-Imagined: A Theatre Concert at Brampton On Stage

By: Nov. 09, 2023
BWW Q&A: Darryn de Souza of Re-Imagined: A Theatre Concert at Brampton On Stage

Celebrate beautiful music from Broadway, while capturing the creativity,nconnection & musicality of wonderful stories on stage. Join Darryn de Souza for an evening of music, with bespoke arrangements, fresh takes, stories from the road, and heartfelt performances. With a soaring tenor voice, and decades of experiences & stories as a Touring Music Director, Darryn brings these skills together for an exciting evening of music. Hear songs from mega-musicals like “Les Miserables”, “Rent”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, as well as “Dear Evan Hansen”, “Aladdin”, “Godspell” and more.

With over two decades as a seasoned musician, Darryn's journey through the ever-evolving music industry has been nothing short of incredible. He's rocked the stage on epic North American tours, from symphony extravaganzas to celebrity-filled spectacles. Darryn's passion for music transcends performance, as he's a trailblazer in music education, nurturing future talents and paving the way for creative programming. Serving as the Music Director for The Tenors, Darryn's illustrious career has graced him with the honor of performing alongside icons like Celine Dion, Stevie Wonder, and even for world leaders like Barack and Michelle Obama. Darryn's flair for music theatre shines through in his roles as a music director, band leader, and performer in shows that ignite the stage with energy and charm. Darryn's magic doesn't stop there; he's a maestro in helping theatre composers bring their ideas to life. He's lent his skills as a copyist and transcriber for musicals in workshop. A true mentor, Darryn elevates talents worldwide, fostering excellence, love, and kindness through the universal language of music.

Can you share some of your experiences from your North American tours and how they've shaped you as a musician?

The first tour I landed was a 75-city tour of the U.S. with The Tenors. It was a humble setup with small town venues, a 12-passenger van, and a team of five, often driving overnight between cities. It was an exhilarating and challenging way to kickstart my journey in the touring industry. A few years later, following an appearance on Oprah, we embarked on a grander 85-city tour across North America, hitting major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, and Boston. The "Lead With Your Heart" tour, which later became a Juno-Award winning album, holds a special place in my career. Witnessing the project's success on stage, and the love and appreciation from the global audience, overwhelmed me. I spent countless hours sleeping on buses, showering in band hotel rooms, and flanked by my friends and colleagues. We forged lifelong friendships through these experiences. I attended their weddings, met their girlfriends who became wives, their newborns. They met mine. Our music - a robust, classically-inspired re-imagining of beautiful music from all genres... was a real gift to me. I could employ my full skillset as a classically trained pianist here. I saw first hand that music can, without a doubt, change lives. This became a point of pride - I enjoy every performance I'm blessed with. It's a new opportunity to create lasting memories for audiences around the world.

What has been your most memorable moment as the Music Director for The Tenors?

Without a doubt, performing at the David Foster Foundation events stands out. Witnessing the legendary David Foster leading a star-studded performance was awe-inspiring. What I did not know upon arrival is that he also brings with him the most legendary band. I walked on stage and realized that David wanted me to play the Tenors' set so he could take a minute offstage during the show. I played with Tariq Akhoni, Michael Thompson, Boh Cooper, Erskine Hawkins, J.R. Robinson, and Nathan East. I felt like a golden ticket winner on that stage. Then, to top it off, i recognized a Hohner Clavinet onstage. If you're a super fan like me, you knew exactly whom that keyboard belonged to. My #1 idol. My GOAT. Stevie Wonder. Meeting Stevie Wonder remains the most cherished moment of my tenure with The Tenors. I met the Obamas, Oprah, the late Queen Elizabeth II, but for me, this was the pinnacle. I got four words out to Stevie during my few minutes with him: "Thank you so much."

How do you approach nurturing future talents in music education?

My belief in the uniqueness of artistry drives my approach. Every artist is singular. I utilize my experience, taste, and musical knowledge to unlock hidden potential in my students and fellow artists. I emphasize the ongoing nature of learning and remind them that the music industry's dynamics do not always follow a linear path. Building and maintaining relationships is an integral part of this ever-evolving industry.

What is it like to work with theatre composers and help them bring their ideas to life?

Working with theatre composers is a continuous learning experience for me. Sarah Slean is a great example. I worked with Sarah as a copyist/transcriber team along with my brother Ryan for her musical Maudie. We took raw demos, phone recordings and email communications and turned blank sheets into a complete musical score. It was a masterclass. Witnessing the profound impact of a heartfelt melody and unraveling intricate harmonies within ensemble songs highlighted the deeply personal nature of the creative process. Adapting my skills to complement the composer's vision remains a crucial part of the journey.

How do your roles as a music director, band leader, and performer influence each other?

I love this question. For me, these roles are interconnected, with each strengthening the other. They serve as building blocks in my artistic representation. While I refrain from comparing processes, I acknowledge the interdependence of these roles in shaping my artistic identity. I know exactly how to imagine a melody, capture it, create a simple piano motif around it, expand that piano motif, chart the music accurately for all band members, choose the right musicians for each chair, rehearse the band to the fullest, record in-studio to represent my vision artistically with only the help of an audio engineer, and then take that creation out on the road and front the band with vocals, piano and show running. Those are a lot of steps, and I think I can do them all because of my experience in each of the roles. As a Music Director, I lead the artistic vision; as a Band Leader, I steer the music in real-time; and as a Performer, I establish a profound connection between the music and the audience, ultimately building a dedicated fan base.

Can you give us a sneak peek into the songs and arrangements that will be featured in the concert?

In this upcoming show, we are delving into the thrill of experimentation. I've revamped the band's arrangement to explore fresh sounds for the audience. Expect enchanting renditions of classics, featuring piano, guitar, and cello to add a magical touch. We're looking to breathe new life into songs such as "All That Jazz" from Chicago, infusing a soulful groove, "She Used To Be Mine" from Waitress, highlighting a captivating cello-led motif, and even a male-sung rendition of "Defying Gravity" from Wicked, blending epic piano and rock guitar for a lively twist. Prepare for an evening of delightful surprises and reimagined classics.

Why should audiences come see Re-Imagined: A Theatre Concert at Brampton On Stage?

Attendees are in for a unique and exhilarating experience at "Re-Imagined: A Theatre Concert" with Brampton On Stage in The Rose Studio. Brace yourself for an evening of musical marvels where timeless classics are reborn with a contemporary twist. With an innovative approach to arrangements and an ensemble of talented musicians, this concert promises to captivate and enthrall audiences, leaving them with an unforgettable and enchanting musical journey. Don't miss the chance to be a part of this extraordinary musical experience!

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