Darnell Abraham has established himself a versatile artist by seamlessly slipping into character for contemporary or traditional musical theater. He was awarded the 2017 Berkshire Theatre Critics Award for Outstanding Lead Actor for his performance as Coalhouse in RAGTIME at Barrington Stage Company. Darnell is currently a member of the First National Tour of the Tony Award-Winning Broadway Revival, THE COLOR PURPLE.
Recent theatrical and studio engagements include: RAGTIME (Coalhouse, Barrington Stage Company & Ogunquit Playhouse), SIDE SHOW (Jake, The Media Theatre), FESTIVAL OF THE LION KING (Nakawa, Walt Disney), and Tekken 7 video game soundtrack by Bandai Namco Entertainment. Darnell has performed for audiences around the world and has collaborated with Grammy and Emmy award-winning artists in the studio and on the concert stage.
Darnell is a proud member of the Actor's Equity Association and resides in Manhattan.
"Darnell Abraham delivers a powerhouse performance as Coalhouse, communicating the character’s joyous embrace of life at the start and his icy, resolute fury when events spur him on to a quest for revenge." - The Boston Globe
...Darnell Abraham steal the show as the unmarried African American couple struggling to raise their child under extremely difficult circumstances." - Huffington Post
"Darnell Abraham is a riveting Coalhouse Walker, who makes the character's transition from dignified gentleman to embittered terrorist both believable and empathetic. He delivers his big vocal numbers in a creamy baritone capable of stabbing intensity." - BroadwayWorld
"Darnell Abraham is especially powerful as Coalhouse watches his dreams literally die and his affable pride in his achievements are turned into a violent revenge. When he and the cast cry out for "Justice" we recognize the truth of his deep-seated rage." - CurtainUp
"Darnell Abraham, as the sisters’ guardian and best friend, Jake, strikes sparks when he tries to convince the girls not to leave the sideshow with “The Devil You Know.” Later, he tragically answers their question with one of the scores most moving moments, “You Should Be Loved”. - DC Metro
"The Long Goodbye, sung by Darnell Abraham features beautiful lyrics and an excellent vocal performance as well. The melody itself is exquisite and the overall vibe has a pop/R&B feel to it." - VGMOnline (Tekken 7 Soundtrack)
"Darnell Abraham was suggested to me as an artist to learn two new works, tone poems, that I was commissioned to write. The 'ink was still wet' on the scores at our first meeting, and I was continuing to make changes as Darnell was learning the music. His vocal ability and his adaptability were perfect for the project. He learned the pieces and made them his own. His glorious warm vocal quality made these new pieces speak. The two works were difficult tone poems that required experience, musicality and an understanding of what was being said in the poem. Darnell incorporated all of these elements and made the music come alive. It was indeed a pleasure to collaborate with him.” - Randy Klein (Multi-Emmy Award Winner; Founder, Jazzheads Records)
"Darnell is one of today's most exciting performers! From opera and art song, gospel, Broadway, and pop ballads, this talented artist bridges the gap from the stage to the seats, pulling his audiences into a dynamic and memorable experience. To say that he 'brings the house down' is ironic, because at the same time he lifts the audience up into an experience of art, beauty, and thrilling performance." - John Sutton, DMA (Artistic Director, Angeles Chorale)
Philanthropy & Community
The late American philosopher and psychologist, William James, once said, "The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it." As an artist, I have been fortunate to participate in projects seeking to achieve the greater common good here at home and around the world. Throughout my travels, I am reminded that the arts prevail still because it helps us discover what we have in common in spite of our differences. Therefore, I am excited to share with you some organizations that I admire. I hope that this will inspire you to check out one of the projects below, or encourage you to find an initiative that will help make the world a better place.