For Darlene, music is about connection. She uses her soulful and sultry voice to take her listener on an emotional journey through the song. She especially loves singing Soul, Jazz, Gospel, R&B/funk covers as well as her original songs. Her passion for harmonizing and collaborating has led her to work with artists such as Eric Bibb and Leon Bibb, Shari Ulrich, Jane Mortifee, Ann Mortifee, Dee Daniels, plus other Vancouver artists. Darlene toured the Okanagan and Kootenays for 4 summers (2014-2017) with the Darlene Ketchum Quartet. Darlene and her co-writer/arranger husband Bill Sample, released their first recording, “On the Outside” in 2017 as the newly formed band, Wild Blue Herons.
Darlene was the choral director of the Marcus Mosely Chorale alongside Marcus Mosely and Bill Sample and has written and arranged music for the chorale. As a composer, the vocal freedom of jazz, combined with the rich chords and funky laid-back groove inspire her songs. Three of her songs have been nominated for awards and she released her first solo album “Soul Connections” in 2014.
In addition, Darlene is a music educator who has designed and directed music programs as well as developed curriculum for college-level music students (specializing in teaching Contemporary/Jazz music theory, Song Writing, Charting and Arranging, piano and vocal coaching). She leads Gospel-style singing workshops alongside Marcus Mosely and Bill Sample; teaching the traditions/history, the heart/soul, and the vocal techniques in singing this inspiring music.
Whatever she does, her passion is to impact others with the power of music and song. Musical success is connecting to heart and soul.