Darryl Daniels was born in Selma, Alabama and lived equal parts of his upbringing in the Bronx borough of New York City and his hometown.
He was drawing from as early an age as he could remember on just about anything he could find. When he was seven years old, Darryl saw a print by the artist Norman Rockwell in one of his grandmother's S&H Green Stamp catalogs. 'I couldn't believe that someone could draw people that well and decided to become as good at this as I could.'
In high school, Darryl became much more interested in painting and later studied fine art at the University of Charleston, where he was introduced to many different forms of art and was inspired by seeing the work of Salvador Dali. 'Up until that time, I was thinking that art was just about drawing bowls of fruit and nudes. I was really enthused to see that art could go to so many other places.'
While working as a graphic designer, Darryl was also searching for his identity as an artist. His answer would come in the form of a growing admiration for jazz musicians. The result was the first in a series of paintings in 1990, later known as The Darryl Daniels Jazz Collection.
In addition to being part of collections around the world, works from and inspired by this series have appeared in television, commercial and film, including the 1990's Bill Cosby series The Cosby Mysteries and the motion picture Justice, on a half dozen CD covers, including Chick Corea's Live In Montreux, several books on the history of jazz, a series of ties and scarves for Absolut Vodka, promotional material and billboards for events like the Syracuse Jazz Festival, cellphone covers. A large mural of Mood Interlude was even recreated, with the artist's permission, in a campus computer room at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Some 20 years after he painted the very first work in the series, Darryl continues to enjoying creating the acclaimed Jazz Collection paintings associated with his name. In describing his goal for the series, Darryl says, 'My approach, first and foremost, is to treat this series as I would any other, by dealing with it on a purely aesthetic level first. In other words, to treat it jazz as an art subject. Not the other way around. I hope that I've mostly succeeded in that regard.'