Darcy James Argue is one of today's most talked-about jazz musicians thanks to the phenomenal critical response to Infernal Machines, his debut recording featuring his 18-piece bigband, Secret Society. The record was included on more than 70 best-of-the year lists and won Best Debut honors in the 2009 Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll. Argue and Secret Society topped three categories in the 2010 DownBeat Critics' Poll (Rising Star, Big Band; Rising Star, Composer; and Rising Star, Arranger) and were the recipients of two 2010 Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards (Large Ensemble of the Year and Up & Coming Artist of the Year). The group has played high-profile concerts in New York and other US cities, as well as in Europe.
Formed in 2005, Secret Society evokes an alternate musical history in which the dance orchestras that ruled the Swing Era never went extinct, but remained a popular and vital part of the evolving musical landscape. Adopting a steampunk-inspired attitude towards the traditional big band, Argue refashions this well-worn instrumentation into a cutting-edge ensemble. The band’s first studio recording, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam Records) takes its name from a John Philip Sousa quote about the dangers of music technology. Newsweek’s Seth Colter Walls praised the album as “a wholly original take on big band’s past, present and future” and Time Out New York’s David R. Adler awarded it five stars and proclaimed it “a seven-track marvel of imagination.” In his feature article on Argue for the Village Voice, Richard Gehr called it “maximalist music of impressive complexity and immense entertainment value, in your face and then in your head.”
Secret Society kindly request your support to help defray some of the considerable expenses involved in keeping an 18-piece ensemble together. These include (but are not limited to) rehearsal costs, recording costs, live sound support, publicity, tour-related expenses (transportation and accommodation), website hosting, and most importantly, compensating the incredibly talented and dedicated musicians who put real blood and sweat into making this epic, visceral music come alive.