Darren Thompson is a Ojibwe flute player and journalist from the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Indian Reservation in northern Wisconsin. He has served communities and movements in cultural, creative, and resourceful ways that address American Indian cultural revitalization, history, and partnership.
His career as an American Indian musician began while an undergraduate at Marquette University. Within a couple of years of practice, he became a sought after musician and presenter at places of higher education throughout the Great Lakes area. Throughout his career, he has shared venues and stages with many award-winning musicians, journalists, filmmakers, and leaders.
His dedication to the preservation of American Indian music has taken him to some of North America’s most prominent American Indian organizations and events, including Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the National Indian Education Association, the National Congress of American Indians, the North American Indigenous Games, America’s largest American Indian cultural festival, many universities, organizations, and communities.
In 2009 Darren released his debut album, "The Song of Flower: Native American Songs from Ojibwe Country," with Bear Tracks Digital Media, an American Indian owned production label. "The Song of Flower" was highly supported by well-known political prisoner and activist Leonard Peltier and Darren was invited to share his music all over the United States promoting for Peltier's freedom and performing at his art galleries. For several years, he hosted an annual Native American flute retreat in his community, the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Reservation, teaching eager learners about the instrument from all over the world.
In 2015, Darren released his second album "Between Earth and Sky: Native American Flute Music Recorded in the Black Hills," with Drumhop Productions, an American Indian production label well-known in Indian Country that produces the annual Gathering of Nations Powwow CD and many others from throughout Turtle Island. Early in its release, Between Earth and Sky has received acclaim from media and professionals supporting the album's intent - to preserve history. From the album's success, Darren was awarded an artist-in-residence opportunity with the world's largest monument, the Crazy Horse National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Early in 2016, Darren was awarded a national business leadership award from the First People's Fund, a national arts organization supporting established artists throughout Indian Country. In addition to his award, Darren was chosen to open for the Gathering of Nations Powwow, which is North America's largest powwow, in Albuquerque, New Mexico to tens of thousands of people. He joined the former Native American Music Award Group of the Year Brulé in the summer months as an opening act, giving Darren the opportunity to share his culture and music with people from all over the world in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Highly acclaimed for his genuine sound, Darren earned a nomination from the Native American Music Awards for "Flutist of the Year" in 2016 for his album "Between Earth and Sky"!
In 2017, Darren partnered with well-known flute maker Jon Norris to develop Darren Thompson Signature Flute providing avid flute players with the opportunity to enjoy a world-class instrument that reflects Darren's cultural heritage and Jon's precise craftsmanship.
In 2019, Darren released his third studio album, "Bigigwan: The Flute" independently and has earned a nomination for "Best Flute Recording" in the 2022 Native American Music Awards.
In 2022, he appeared on the front page of the Wisconsin State Journal for being showcased as a guest solo artist with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.