Darla and Rich Tarpinian
Darla Isaacs Tarpinian and Rich Tarpinian have been on their musical journey together since 1995. They have performed in a variety of settings and their music has been appreciated by audiences of all ages across a variety of venues throughout New Jersey.
As well as performing songs from the standard jazz repertoire, they will often apply elements of jazz to popular songs written in more recent decades like the 70's and 80's. They seek selections that offer strong melodies and rich harmonies as well as opportunities for musical expression through improvisation. They challenge themselves to present their music with the same level of freshness and excitement each time they perform.
They perform as "Darla Rich" regularly at various central New Jersey venues in a duo, trio or quartet configuration.
Darla is a bassist and vocalist who plays both upright bass and electric bass. Her diverse vocal background has allowed her to apply a uniquely fresh and natural sound to the well-worn jazz repertoire.
Her first vocal performance at the age of three set the stage for a lifetime of singing. She attributes her phrasing and ability to hear chord changes to the rhythms and four part harmonies common to the gospel quartet music that she heard and sang at an early age.
After passing rigorous auditions, she made the unlikely jump to performances with Cincinnati's May Festival Chorus and toured the US and Europe. Her time working with internationally known conductors and symphony orchestras demanded a discipline that was a useful contrast to the informal music of her past.
Her move to New Jersey found her scaling back to smaller, less formal settings and eventually immersing herself in the complexities of jazz along with studying the electric bass with Rich Tarpinian and upright bass with bassist and educator, Luke McIntosh. Darla enjoys the sound of the bass believing it has a quality and resonance similar to the human voice. She enjoys the ability of the bass to interact with other instruments beyond its traditional role of providing the pulse.
Born in Kentucky near Cincinnati, Ohio, she moved to New Jersey where she met her husband and musical partner, Rich Tarpinian.
Rich is a guitarist and vocalist who has been performing in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years. He began his study of the guitar with classical instruction at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, New York.
Rich has studied various jazz styles with inspiration coming from guitarists as well as other instrumentalists. His style reflects influences from Jimmy Raney, Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, in addition to many other current guitarists.
As a vocal stylist, he aims for a natural sound without regard to the time period of the selection. As a supporting musician in both live performance and recording sessions, Rich has worked with many area musicians as well as leading his own projects.
Along with a familiar repertoire, he has written and performed his own music. He teaches guitar privately and has taught in group settings through workshops. Rich plays a Gibson ES-165 and is a native of Massena, New York.