Dartanyan Brown began his musical life playing Folk music while at North High School in Des Moines during the mid-’60s. Dartanyan learned to play the bass guitar and his first professional gig was with The Soul Brothers, which featured Harlan Thomas, Chicago Rick Lussie and Gene Jackson, all now in the IBHOF.
Dart would go on to form a band while attending Drake University. Called The Black & Blues Band, other members included Frank Tribble and Paul Michich. Brown would soon join forces in a new band called Wheatstraw with Ron DeWitte from The American Legends. Dartanyan decided to quit school so he could devote himself to music full time. Wheatstraw left Iowa in 1970 and worked hard on the road touring for about a year-and-a-half in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
After disbanding, Dart settled back in Des Moines where he became involved with a band called The Mothership. Brown played with guitarist Rod Chaffee, drummer Tommy Gordon, and pianist Phil Aaberg (who went on to fame with Elvin Bishop).
Gordon and Brown would go on to play in world-renowned Jazz-Rock band, Chase, until the tragic and untimely plane crash 30 years ago that ended the lives of Bill Chase and other band members.
Dartanyan decided to finish up his schooling at Drake, where he joined the Drake Jazz Band and met his soon-to-be wife, musician Marcia Miget. They both performed with The Midwest Express, playing regularly at Ernie’s Urban Lounge. The band also featured Bobby Parker and Big Mike Edwards, also a member of the IBHOF.
After starting a family, the couple formed the band Dartanyan. They opened for such luminaries as Kenny Loggins, Ben Sidren, Luther Allison and Grover Washington, Jr. (who sat in with Dartanyan).
Brown moved to the San Francisco area in 1988 and has been actively involved in the craft of making and recording music ever since.
Dart’s brother, Don Brown, is a very familiar face around Des Moines, playing sax and flute with a variety of bands.
PHOTO © SCOTT ALLEN – VIVIDPIX.COM