Darryl Murrill is a Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival veteran, taking part in both the 2018 and 2019 editions of the event.
“Expect great music and a good time full of energy, and surprises,” the well-respected Wilmington, North Carolina-based saxophonist once said of his always-varied shows. “Sometimes we switch things up, and you think you are in one song, but you end up in another. You don’t know how you got there, but you know you like it.”
Murrell, who began playing saxophone at age 13, performs on alto, soprano and tenor, either solo or with his group Jazzpel. He gained early inspiration from church music – including hymns, Negro spirituals and gospel music – and that still plays a huge role in Murrell’s life, right down to his band’s name. “I like to do smooth jazz, contemporary jazz and popular stuff, but I like that gospel twist,” he told the (Wilmington, N.C.) Star-News. “Jazzpel is blend of those sounds.”
Murrill has also performed at the Back Street Festival in Wallace, N.C.; Jazz at the Bellamy Mansion, the Stomp the Park Music Festival and the Night Before Christmas concert in Wilmington; the Ham and Yam Festival in Smithfield, N.C.; and various area venues like the Madd Boar, 141 North and Bluewater Grill.
“We are brothers. We have as much chemistry on stage as we do offstage,” Jazzpel bassist Christopher Marcellus has said. “That chemistry allows us the opportunity to be a blessing to other people through music – whether it’s contemporary jazz, straight-ahead jazz, pop or R&B covers that we do. We cover the whole gamut.”
Over the years, Murrill has appeared on stage with the likes of Tom Brown and Marcus Anderson, the latter of whom was a featured performer at the second annual Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival. Murrill also teaches, at the Port City Conservatory of Music and DREAMS of Wilmington. His discography includes Love God and Sax, Closer Than I Realized and My Heart Is Yours.
The Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival is always free. Bring your lawn chairs for this annual event, which is held on historic Carver Street in Myrtle Beach. In addition to the music, there are also food and merchandise vendors, children’s activities, and a wine and beer garden.