A seasoned drummer and percussionist with an obsession for writing and crafting songs, Darren Garvey continues to establish himself as a musical polymath, producer, and idiosyncratic songwriter with heavy-hearted lyrics and clever arrangements. Associated with Chicago's independent music scene since the mid-90s as an active touring and session musician, Garvey joined Elephant Revival in 2016 and relocated to Colorado where he currently resides. Darren remains busy drumming with Daniel Rodriguez, Shook Twins, and Bonnie Paine as well as making special appearances with Courtney Hartman, Lindsay Lou, Steve Poltz, John Craigie, and Danny Barnes.
As a multi-instrumentalist Darren writes, arranges, produces, and performs virtually every sound and instrument on his solo recordings and plays a majority of the instrumentation on the records that he produces. Garvey has released a handful of albums under his own name that explore his imaginative songwriting and showcase his depth of musicianship, but he is best known for his collaborative projects as a creative and passionate team player. Darren recently cowrote and produced the single Colorado with Daniel Rodriguez which premiered on Colorado Public Radio and features Andrew Marlin (Mandolin Orange), Daniel McMahon (Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts), Natalie Padilla (Masontown), and vocalist Carolyn Hunter.
Producing records for select bands, Daniel and the Lion's album Death Head caught the attention of Adam Duritz who invited Garvey and the band out on tour with Counting Crows in 2014. Once again, Darren's production of Elephant Revival bandmate Daniel Rodriguez's debut solo EP Your Heart The Stars The Milky Way and full-length Sojourn of a Burning Sun helped land Daniel and Darren on The Lumineers 2020 world tour (postponed to 2021). Named a top 20 Colorado release of 2019 by Marquee Magazine, Wesley Schultz (The Lumineers) says of the EP "it's just got something that you want to hear again, something healing and good at its core."
Garvey has written and produced dozens of compositions as the Music Director for a commercial music house, including an EP released under the moniker Thunder and Snow which has been used around the world in television and cinema and features vocalist Adriel Denae (Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons). No stranger to the recording studio Darren appears on over 200 records and has worked on a dozen films including Black Gold, a documentary about the coffee trade that premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival where it convinced Starbucks to change their Fair Trade practices as well as appearing as guest percussionist on the soundtrack/score to the 2011 Academy Award winning documentary Undefeated.
Born in Milwaukee in the late 70s Darren was raised outside of Chicago where he played piano and guitar from an early age and led a handful of bands. After high school his band won VH1’s Best Unsigned Band competition, opened for John Fogerty at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and began touring up and down the east coast. Gravitating towards the drums in the 90s, Darren studied with Glenn Kotche (Wilco) whose musicality and percussive approach to the trap set inspired Darren to further his education. While attending The University of Illinois he formed an experimental jazz/funk/bluegrass project with Noam Pikelny (Punch Brothers) and ultimately earned a degree in Percussion Performance and Jazz Studies. Spending his early Chicago days working at influential independent label Touch and Go Records, Garvey eventually became the Music Director at I.V. Lab Studios where he produced and composed music for film and TV as well as recording his debut solo release Under A Common Ceiling.
Darren has been on tour for over two decades with performances at venues such as the Ryman Auditorium, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Hearst Greek Theatre, NYC Central Park, and Germany’s Rockpalast. Some unique stints include his role as the house drummer at Marc Smith’s world-renowned Green Mill Poetry Slam (the birthplace of slam poetry); drums with comedienne Sandra Bernhard on Feel the Bernhard, Sandra Bernhard is #blessed, Sandyland, and I Love Being Me, Don’t You?; and live photoplay experiments across the country with Andreas Kapsalis Trio who were commissioned by Northwestern University, University of Notre Dame, and University of Massachusetts Lowell to perform both preconceived and improvised soundtracks to a variety of classic silent films in front of a live audience.
Darren Garvey is a member of Colorado’s transcendental folk darlings Elephant Revival and lives with his wife and two daughters in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Much of Darren’s legacy can be found in the huge fingerprint that he left on the Midwest independent music scene with bands like Cameron McGill & What Army, Andreas Kapsalis Trio, Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts, Daniel and the Lion, Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, Like Pioneers, Ernie Hendrickson, Chicago Farmer, Danny Burns & The Defectors, and Paper Arrows among others.