Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society to perform contemporary big band jazz Oct. 23 at Eisenhower

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, one of the most celebrated ensembles in contemporary jazz, will make its second appearance in State College to perform works selected from its first decade of innovative big band music. The concert, presented by the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, in Eisenhower Auditorium.

Purchase tickets, which are $48 for an adult, $15 for a University Park student, and $38 for a person 18 and younger. A grant from the University Park Student Fee Board makes Penn State student prices possible.

“It’s maximalist music of impressive complexity and immense entertainment value, in your face and then in your head,” wrote a reviewer for The Village Voice. A Newsweek writer suggested that “for a wholly original take on big band’s past, present and future, look to Darcy James Argue.”

The Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based composer and bandleader made headlines with the release of Secret Society’s “Infernal Machines” (2009), which along with “Brooklyn Babylon” (2013) and “Real Enemies” (2016) was nominated for a Grammy Award.

A New York Times critic praised the most recent album as “wildly discursive, twitchily allusive, a work of furious ambition … deeply in tune with our present moment.” A London Jazz News writer called the release “a mind-blowing example of truly great, era-defining jazz composition, and a contender for album of the year.”

Watch a video of Secret Society recording “The Enemy Within.”

Access more information about Argue and Secret Society.

Secret Society tours throughout North America, Europe and South America. The 18-member band, which previously performed at Eisenhower in February 2017, has also performed four times at the Newport Jazz Festival. In recent months, Secret Society has played at New York City’s famous Jazz Standard and the Chicago Jazz Festival. In October, the band will perform at Angrajazz, an international festival in the Azores.

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring Argue with assistance from saxophonist Rick Hirsch, will be offered one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.