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Daryl Waters

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Information about Daryl Waters

Profile image of Daryl Waters

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Music Composer and Arranger

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Caribbean Blue
Favorite Food:
Sushi
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Favorite Quote:
It Ain't Deep.

Birthplace

Born:
5/12/1956
Birth Location:
Cleveland, Ohio

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Music Composer and Arranger

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Caribbean Blue
Favorite Food:
Sushi
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Favorite Quote:
It Ain't Deep.

Birthplace

Born:
5/12/1956
Birth Location:
Cleveland
See how Daryl Waters is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Music composer and arranger Daryl Waters was born in Cleveland, Ohio. From the age of eight years old, Waters studied music at the Cleveland Music School Settlement. While attending Shaw High School in East Cleveland, he played piano and served as a conductor for Karamu Theater and The Singing Angels, as well as conducting at a summer music theatre program and performing with his own band. Upon graduation, Waters enrolled at Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina, where he obtained his B.A. degree in music with a specialization in piano performance in 1978.

Waters returned to Cleveland after graduation, playing various jobs around town, before moving to New York in 1981, where he began working as a nightclub pianist, arranger and conductor. In 1983, Waters became the music director for the European tour of Ain’t Misbehavin’, the acclaimed musical revue of the Harlem Renaissance and tribute to Fats Waller. In 1985, Waters landed his first job on Broadway as the associate conductor of the Broadway musical, Leader of the Pack, directed by Michael Peters who choreographed Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and “Beat It” music videos. In 1992, Waters was the associate conductor for George C. Wolfe’s Jelly’s Last Jam, joining Wolfe again in 1996 as a co-composer of Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk, which garnered him his first Tony and Grammy nominations. In 1997, Waters supervised and orchestrated Street Corner Symphony, a revue of 1960s and 1970s soul music.

Waters worked Off-Broadway as the music director for George C. Wolfe’s The Colored Museum (1986), the composer for In Real Life (2001), orchestrator for Kirsten Childs’ Miracle Brothers (2005), music director of The Seven (2006) (a hip-hop adaptation of Aeschylus’ Seven Against Thebes), composer for Blue Door (2006), supervisor/arranger for the highly-acclaimed musical celebration A Civil War Christmas (2008) by Pulitzer winner Paula Vogel, and orchestrator for Childs’ Bella (2017).

In 2010, Waters earned rave reviews for his orchestration of Memphis: A New Musical, receiving both Tony and Drama Desk Awards. In 2013, he was the conductor for After Midnight, under the music direction of Wynton Marsalis, with various stars including Fantasia, Toni Braxton and Kenneth Edmonds, and Patti LaBelle. He arranged, orchestrated and supervised music for Holler If Ya Hear Me (2014), Shuffle Along (2016) with director George C. Wolfe (for which he also wrote new material), and The Cher Show (2018).

In addition to his theatrical accomplishments, Waters became Eartha Kitt's music director in 1986, performing concerts with her on six continents over twenty-two years. He also conducted and arranged for many other stars, including Leslie Uggams, Sammy Davis Jr., Gregory Hines, Cab Calloway, Nell Carter, Patti Austin and Jennifer Holliday.

Waters is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and the American Federation of Musicians.

Daryl Waters was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 12, 2016.

See how Daryl Waters is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Daryl Waters' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Daryl Waters lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Daryl Waters describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Daryl Waters describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Daryl Waters talks about the traits he inherited from his grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Daryl Waters lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Daryl Waters describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Daryl Waters remembers his early neighborhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Daryl Waters talks about his elementary school
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Daryl Waters recalls his early musical interests
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Daryl Waters describes The Music Settlement in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Daryl Waters names his early musical influences
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Daryl Waters remembers his first musical theatre experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Daryl Waters remembers early encouragement from his piano teacher and his mother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Daryl Waters talks about his special qualities as a young musician
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Daryl Waters remembers acting as a music director at Karamu House while in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Daryl Waters talks about his musical influences in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Daryl Waters remembers balancing music and academics while in high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Daryl Waters talks about his early exposure to religion
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Daryl Waters remembers his high school band, Life Is Real
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Daryl Waters recalls his experiences at Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Daryl Waters remembers his mentor, K. Wilhelmina Boyd
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Daryl Waters describes the challenge of adjusting to life in Salisbury, North Carolina
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Daryl Waters talks about the movie 'Uptight'
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Daryl Waters remembers directing a homecoming talent show at Livingstone College
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Daryl Waters reflects upon his reluctance to promote himself
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Daryl Waters remembers his decision to move to New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Daryl Waters remembers attending his first Broadway production
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Daryl Waters recalls his experience as a pianist at a New York City dessert club
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Daryl Waters remembers touring in Europe with the musical 'Ain't Misbehavin''
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Daryl Waters describes his duties in the production of 'Ain't Misbehavin''
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Daryl Waters remembers his first experience as a music director on Broadway
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Daryl Waters describes the responsibilities of a conductor in musical theatre
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Daryl Waters recalls how he began working with Earth Kitt
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Daryl Waters reflects upon Eartha Kitt's musical influences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Daryl Waters describes his experience working with Eartha Kitt
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Daryl Waters talks about Eartha Kitt's personality
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Daryl Waters describes his experiences as the associate conductor of 'Jelly's Last Jam'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Daryl Waters remembers meeting his wife
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Daryl Waters describes the rehearsal schedule for a Broadway show
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Daryl Waters remembers becoming involved in 'Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Daryl Waters talks about the music production of 'Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Daryl Waters remembers his Tony Award nomination for 'Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Daryl Waters talks about the educational component of 'Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Daryl Waters describes HistoryMaker George C. Wolfe
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Daryl Waters talks about the business elements of a career in musical theatre
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Daryl Waters describes the benefits of joining the American Federation of Musicians
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Daryl Waters talks about the musical 'Street Corner Symphony'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Daryl Waters remembers working on 'In Real Life'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Daryl Waters talks about creating the music for 'Drowning Crow'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Daryl Waters recalls the reception of the 2005 musical 'The Color Purple'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Daryl Waters describes the seating capacity of Broadway theatres
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Daryl Waters talks about the relationship between music and lighting cues
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Daryl Waters describes the musical 'Miracle Brothers'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Daryl Waters remembers the hip hop musical 'The Seven'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Daryl Waters talks about the play 'Blue Door'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Daryl Waters remembers the musical 'Memphis'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Daryl Waters talks about how winning awards impacted his career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Daryl Waters remembers working with Wynton Marsalis on 'After Midnight'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Daryl Waters reflects upon the reception of 'Holler If Ya Hear Me'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Daryl Waters describes the challenges of scoring 'Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Daryl Waters talks about his projects at the time of the interview
  • Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Daryl Waters remembers his favorite musical collaborators
  • Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Daryl Waters reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Daryl Waters talks about his early work on Broadway
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Daryl Waters reflects upon black representation on Broadway
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Daryl Waters talks about the challenges to success on Broadway
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Daryl Waters describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Daryl Waters reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Daryl Waters talks about his close acquaintances
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Daryl Waters describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Daryl Waters narrates his photographs