Born in Ithaca, New York, pianist/composer Darius Scott grew up in Boston and has been living in Baltimore since 1983. Both of his parents enjoyed music, especially jazz. As a toddler, they used to take him to The Jazz Workshop to hear the legends playing and inventing the style of music he would eventually learn to play as well. At one point during that time, he even sat on a piano bench next to Thelonious Monk. Darius didn’t begin trying to play piano until college. When an injury sidelined him from soccer for a season, he signed up for a “keyboard awareness” class and through a friend, discovered the ragtime piano music of Scott Joplin. Darius memorized several of Joplin’s rags and although he often played them repeatedly to the most accommodating of his family, friends and associates. Darius found Joplin’s music to be so enjoyable and intricate that it occupied him for several years. During that period, he developed an interest in learning more about the piano and jazz music.
Darius began to listen with renewed interest to his parents’ old jazz records and to frequent Henry Baker’s Jazz Closet on Franklin Street in Baltimore. But several years passed before he made a direct move to study jazz piano. He took lessons for about two years and performed for the first time with an ensemble in 1990.
Darius has learned from and performed with many East Coast musicians. This list is long but includes players and mentors such as Bob Butta, the late Ruby Glover, Gary Thomas, Ed Wiley Jr., Mike Carrick, Allen Houser, George V. Johnson, Fred Foss, Paul Carr, Antonio Parker, Chris Bacas, Phil Cunneff, Eric Kennedy, Sam Turner, Rudy Morales, Alex Norris, Tom and Whit Williams, Jeff Reed, Dontae Winslow, Steve Novosel, James King, Michael Thomas, Michael Hawkins, Tom Baldwin, Paul Gill, Gary Bartz and Talib Kibwe.
In 1993 Darius founded the Resolution Jazz Group, which debuted at the former Funk’s Democratic Coffee Spot in Fell’s Point. His group focuses on a straight ahead style, performing the music of such composers as Horace Silver, Wayne Shorter, Bill Evans, John Coltrane and Herbie Hancock, along with their own compositions and arrangements of jazz standards. With his group and others, Darius has performed at various local and national venues including The Kennedy Center, The Millenium Stage, Lisner Auditorium, Twins Jazz and Lounge, Blues Alley, One Step Down, HR-57 and Bohemian Caverns in D.C.; The King of France Tavern in Annapolis, Sascha’s, Caton Castle, The New Haven Lounge and An Die Musik in Baltimore; Pearl’s and Pier 23 in San Francisco, S.O.B.’s and the Bahai Center in New York City, The Balcony in Pittsburgh, Churchill Grounds and Studio 281 in Atlanta; and Dazzle and el Chapultapec in Denver. Darius has also appeared in the HBO series “The Wire” and in late 1998 he played in several scenes with Brenda Russell in Barry Levinson’s film “Liberty Heights.” Early in 2010 Darius represented the Baltimore Jazz Alliance with a performance as part of the Subtle Sessions series at Bertha’s in Fells Point.