Darnell Cann-Ward

Darnell Cann-Ward

Central Region
[email protected]


My name is Darnell Cann-Ward, I am a saxophonist originally from East Saint Louis, Illinois. I play various forms of music, such as classical, jazz, R&B and gospel and participate in education programs for youth with music through many organizations in Jefferson County and throughout Arkansas.

Darnell Cann-Ward has played on stage with artist such as: Bradford Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie and Clark Terry. Coming from one of the greatest high school jazz bands in the world, Lincoln High School was a building block for his success in music.

Darnell started playing saxophone in the sixth grade. He learned very fast moving his way up to first chair at Hughes Quinn Jr. High. Darnell earned certificates of achievements in concert band state competitions and went on to Lincoln Sr. High where he was introduced to jazz.

He began to excel in jazz band competitions throughout the state and in 1988, Darnell had the privilege of traveling to Europe with the Lincoln Sr. High Jazz Band. While there, he met and played on stage with some of his greatest influences.

Darnell came from a city with a high poverty level and high crime rate. He avoided wrong turns because of his dedication to music. He graduated high school and went on to college to obtain a music degree attending UAPB. He began working with the music program sharing his many gifts with the students. Darnell found himself giving back what was taught to him. The cuts in music programs in the schools is a motivating force for him to teach like it was taught to him.

In 2005 he began working with the Pine Bluff School District and is currently working with special needs students. He incorporates his teaching style with music, and has learned to show counting and reading skills to help students in math and reading utilizing music. years.

In his spare time he performs weekly with a local band and called Platinum Hitz, another band called Soft Impressions and has been a musician in many productions at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas.

AIE Program

Preferred Age Level: All ages
Geographic Availability: statewide
Time Availability: evenings and weekends
Special Needs: blackboard/whiteboard; practice space; chairs