2010 Festival At A Glance
June 16   An Evening with Dick Hyman
June 25   A Night of Brazilian Jazz!
Luciana Souza/Romero Lubambo; plus Alegritude
June 26   A History of African Rhythms & Jazz
June 26   Randy Weston's African Rhythms Trio
June 27   Freddy Cole Quartet
July 2   The Music of Billy Strayhorn
July 3   Early Bird Jazz for Kids: Jim Nadel & Friends
July 3   Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio
July 9   Fred Hersch: Jobim and More
July 10   Early Bird Latin Jazz for Kids: John Santos Sextet
July 10   Tuck & Patti
July 11   Ella Fitzgerald: America's First Lady of Song
July 16   Mose Allison Trio
July 17   Claudia Villela Band
July 18   John Santos Sextet
July 19   Khalil Shaheed & the Mo'Rockin Project
July 20   Gerald Clayton Trio
July 21   Kristen Strom Quintet
July 22   The Music of Dave Brubeck Presented by Victor Lin
July 24   Giants of Jazz: Charles McPherson, Junior Mance & Tootie Heath
July 25   Ruth Davies' Blues Night with Special Guest Keb' Mo'
July 26   Dena DeRose Trio
July 27   Junior Mance Trio
July 28   100 Years of Django with Julian Lage, Victor Lin & Jorge Roeder
July 29   Visions: The Stevie Wonder Songbook
July 31   Rebecca Martin featuring Larry Grenadier, Steve Cardenas & Larry Goldings
Aug 1   Dave Douglas Quintet Plus
Aug 2   George Cables Trio
Aug 3   Nicholas Payton with the Taylor Eigsti Trio
Aug 4   Joshua Redman Trio
Aug 6   SJW All-Star Jam Session
Aug 7   Taylor Eigsti Group featuring Becca Stevens
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Dena DeRose Trio

Dena DeRose Trio


Dena DeRose, vocals/piano; Peter Barshay, bass; Akira Tana, drums

Monday, July 26, 7:30 PM | Campbell Recital Hall
Tickets: $32 general | $18 students

Tickets Now On Sale


Lots of singers can play the piano. Some pianists can sing. Very few can do either as well as Dena DeRose, let alone both. "She both sings and plays the piano like a million bucks," says DownBeat, which also named her Live at Jazz Standard Vol. 2 as one of the Top Ten CDs of 2008 (as did All About Jazz and the Jazz Journalists Association). Her piano playing features hip modern harmonies and dazzling improvisation, anchored by a joyous, compelling sense of swing. As a vocalist, she can scat intricate bebop lines one minute and break your heart with a wistful ballad the next. On either one of her chosen instruments, Dena is a remarkable performer with a unique artistic voice. When she does both, it's like seeing two amazing jazz artists in a single body.

Growing up as an aspiring pianist, Dena discovered the other facet of her amazing talent in the face of an obstacle that might have ended a lesser musician's career. A complicated case of carpal tunnel syndrome made it impossible for her to play piano for a few years. During this forced hiatus, Dena found an outlet for her music through singing. By the time surgery and physical rehabilitation had restored her piano chops, it was clear that singing would be more than a footnote in her career. On either of her chosen instruments, Dena is a remarkable performer with a unique artistic voice. When she does both, she's simply "the most creative and compelling singer-pianist since Shirley Horn" (Joel E. Siegel) and "...an exceptionally gifted pianist as well as a sultry and intelligent singer, she has the audience at her feet" (San Francisco Chronicle).

Dena DeRose, In Conversation with Stanford Jazz Workshop

How did your environment influence you as a player growing up?
I grew up in Binghamton, NY and it was a very supportive environment to grow up in in the ‘70s and ‘80s (unlike now), with jazz around the university and the city, many places to perform and make gigs happen!

What inspires you most in life?
Passion.

Who are your favorite musicians or composers?
Some of my favorite musicians/composers/arrangers include Bill Evans, Carmen McRae, Liberace, Johnny Mandel, Cole Porter, Bob Brookmeyer, Maria Schneider, Jon Hendricks, Miles Davis, Shirley Horn, Scott Lafaro, Art Blakey, Billy Higgins, all of the Heath Brothers, Dizzy, Bird, Lester, Mary Lou Williams, etc.

Do you have any rituals when preparing for performances?
Just breathing!

Describe your most exciting gig for us.
The most exciting performance for me was getting to sing with Ray Brown at the Stanford Jazz Festival. To stand on the same stage as Mr. Brown was the thrill of a lifetime, so far! Someone like him, who has played for almost every major jazz vocalist, was scary at first but with his encouragement and supportive nature he made me feel very fine.

What are you most proud of?
I am proud that I stayed with music through some difficult times in my life that most people might’ve decided otherwise (operations, etc), and found that I could sing, and express myself through music in another way other than just with my piano.

What are your hidden talents?
Basketball.

What are your two favorite places and why?
My two favorite places (at the moment) are the Dolamites in Sud Tirol for hiking, and the Caribbean for the beaches and calm ocean.

What do you do to relax?
Yoga relaxes me, meditation relaxes me, and hiking is also very relaxing for me. But the most relaxing is fishing!

Is there a particular teacher who had a strong influence on you?
My vocal technique teacher, Niki Cukor, was a huge influence on me vocally. Her teaching is still something I pass on to my students.

What advice would you give to young jazz musicians developing their craft?
Something students of jazz have to do is listen! Listen, listen, listen! Learn a lot of tunes from the jazz repertoire and play a lot with other musicians.

I can’t live without…
Sunshine.

I’d really love to meet…
Johnny Depp.

What would you most like to be remembered for as a musician?
I’d like to be remembered for bringing joy and happiness to people’s lives through my music.

What were the last five songs you listened to on your iPod?
The last five tunes I listened to were a few cuts from my new recording for MAXJAZZ, which will come out next spring: Why Did I Chose You? and Nice and Easy. Then I listened to Bill Evans playing Witchcraft, Moonray by Nancy King, and Where do You Start? by Shirley Horn.

Do you think music should have a message?
Music is a message...it takes each individual who listens to it to decide what it is for them.

Listen:

Dena DeRose - "Detour Ahead"

Dena DeRose - "We'll Be Together Again"

VIDEO LINKS:

Dena DeRose Trio live performance

Supported in part by Karl & Theresa Robinson.

Photo Credit: Scott McKissen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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