Dara Tucker reflects on her life in music
The native Tulsan will perform at Duet Jazz, 108 N. Detroit Ave., on May 25.
Dara Tucker will perform at Duet Jazz, 108 N. Detroit Ave., on May 25. Her latest release, “The Seven Colors,” is “an album of healing” that explores sounds from her various musical influences.
Dara Tucker lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she records contemporary jazz and singer-songwriter music. However, she lived in 20 different homes before she was 18 years old. The Tulsa native grew up performing gospel with her six siblings at the height of the evangelical boom in the 1980s and ’90s.
“My father was a music minister, and my mother was a singer,” Tucker says. “It was a sometimes-erratic childhood. But the time we spent traveling really created a sense of wanderlust in me that I haven’t been able to shake to this day.”
The family eventually settled in Broken Arrow, and Tucker became more interested in contemporary music. After high school, she earned a degree in international business and German studies from Oral Roberts University.
An au pair job in Switzerland after graduation got Tucker focused more on songwriting. It “was eye-opening, difficult, exhilarating and isolating, all at the same time,” she says. “The loneliness forced me to go inside and reconnect with that musical foundation that had been laid for me. I got my heart broken, so I started writing songs. It got me out of my head. I started sketching out a keyboard on paper so I could better chart out the melodies. I finally decided to rent a keyboard from a music store, and thus began my songwriting career.”
Shortly after, she moved to Nashville, assembled a band with her manager, Greg Bryant, and began performing locally.
Since 2015, Tucker has performed on “The Tavis Smiley Show,” opened for Gregory Porter, collaborated with Charlie Hunter and Keb Mo and won awards for her music. She has recorded three albums of original songs, including “The Sun Season” and “Oklahoma Rain,” which depicts her Oklahoma roots and her feelings following the loss of her parents.
She has performed twice at Tulsa’s Duet Jazz club, and returns this month to celebrate the release of her new album, “The Seven Colors.”