Darren Castellanos

Chicago Area Bass Trombonist

Bass Trombonist Darren Castellanos enjoys a varied and engaging performance career. As an orchestral musician, Darren has shared the stage with some of the great classical performers of our generation including Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Nadine Sierra, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Charles Dutoit, Leonard Slatkin, David Zinman, Osmo Vänska, Sir Andrew Davis, Jaap van Zweden, Sir Mark Elder, James Conlon, and many others. He has performed with numerous orchestras and arts organizations throughout the United States including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra, the Chicago Philharmonic, the Joffrey Ballet, the Tucson Symphony, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Spokane Symphony, the Grand Rapids Symphony, the Hartford Symphony, and the Sarasota Opera among many others. Most recently, Darren was appointed Bass Trombonist with the Northwest Indiana Symphony.

Darren has performed as well with notable popular artists including Janelle Monae, Smokey Robinson, Ramsey Lewis, and Amy Grant. He has also played with some of today’s great jazz artists including Eric Reed, Victor Goines, and Bobby Sanabria, and is a regular guest of the Pete Ellman Big Band.

Darren is an active chamber musician as well. Darren is a founding member of New Chicago Brass and The Ottava Quartet. His many chamber music engagements have also included performances with the Milwaukee Brass Quintet and the Millar Brass Ensemble.

In 2014, Darren joined the East West Trombone Ensemble, comprised of professional orchestral and studio trombonists from across the country, in Los Angeles to record The Trombone Choir Arrangements of Jay Friedman. He can also be heard on the album Ifukube 100: A Legacy of Monster Music.

A native of Key Largo, FL, Darren studied bass trombone at Manhattan School of Music and DePaul University. His teachers include many world-renowned low brass musicians including Charles Vernon, Steve Norrell, David Taylor, Mark Fisher, and Floyd Cooley. As a student, Darren participated in many summer music festivals and workshops including the Castleton Festival, the Idyllwild Festival, the Brevard Music Festival, the Ash Lawn Opera, and the Summer Trombone Workshop. Upon finishing his college education, Darren was appointed Bass Trombonist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago in 2011 until the completion of his fellowship in 2013.

In his spare time, Darren enjoys spending time with his wife, trombonist Rachel Castellanos, his daughter Martha and their two cats, Simone and Dexter.

“My Edwards Bass Trombone is the best horn I have ever played. Never has it been easier for me to sound the way I want to sound. It works for me in every setting and I look forward to picking it up every time!”