Darren Horn started playing professionally as a teenager in Detroit with singer Cortez Harris, who was a member of popular R&B/funk band Al Hudson & One Way. He and Cortez hit it off after Horn, whose aunt lived across the street from where the band was rehearsing, took the initiative to start jamming with them. After a time playing with Cortez at major clubs like The Twenty Grand, the keyboardist hooked up with The Axe Band, which was renowned as singer Cherelle’s backing band and toured with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis.

Horn later played keys and acted as road manager for Kiara, which scored a #2 R&B duet on Arista Records with Shanice Wilson and opened for everyone from Gerald Albright to Whitney Houston and Luther Vandross; they also created pop crossover remixes for saxophonist Marion Meadows and worked for a time with Toni Braxton just as she was about to emerge. After some years away from the business, Horn resumed his career in the 2000s writing, producing and performing with gospel singer AnnaMaria and has since made it back to the charts with his Smooth Jazz Dual Horn and Holland. Darren has his solo EP due to be released in September 2023. 

Horn is releasing “Nairobi” and The Horn Connection EP on the heels of his 2022 debut album Summertime, whose popular, vocal-driven title track single was played on smooth jazz and soft rock radio and internet stations throughout the U.S. and Europe. Horn’s recording and release of the song was the fulfillment of a promise to its composer, Reginald Davison, onetime lead singer of the Axe Band who had also worked with major R&B artists, including Cherrelle. Davison was ill at the time. Fortunately, Davison heard “Summertime” over the airwaves before he passed. 

 “Nairobi,” an infectious and spirited mid-tempo ballad that showcases Mr. Horn’s sparkling piano magic and features dynamic solos by Billboard #1 smooth jazz hit makers, guitarist Nils and flutist Ragan Whiteside. 

While the title “Nairobi” may inspire thoughts and images of African-related inspirational  vibes, Horn in fact named it after a colorful character nicknamed Nairobi on Netflix’s popular Spanish crime drama Money Heist.  “Nairobi’ is intended to be uplifting, like a fight song, the gist of it conveying victory. 

The Horn Connection will include four other tracks by Horn featuring collaborations with various artists. These include the whimsical and romantic yet grooved-out original “I’ll Be There for You” and fresh, keyboard-centric re-imaginings of some of his favorite R&B and contemporary jazz songs – the Chuck Mangione classic “Feels So Good,” Stephanie Mills’ “I Feel Good All Over” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s brassy funk jam “In The Stone.”