Dena DeRose Trio with special guest Donald Bailey
Dena DeRose, piano/vocals;
Donald Bailey, harmonica/drums; Peter Barshay, bass; Akira Tana, drums
Saturday, August 2 | 8 pm | Campbell Recital Hall
Tickets: $40 general | $20 students
By phone: 650.725.ARTS (2787); In Person: Stanford
For more information, go to our Ticketing
“Dena DeRose sings jazz as if she had been
at it her whole life long, and then some. She interprets standards
in a deliciously laconic, no-nonsense manner, accompanying herself
on piano with hard swinging grace.” – The
New York Times
Dena DeRose needs no introduction to Stanford Jazz Festival regulars.
Her unmistakable vocal style and inventive piano playing have drawn excited
crowds to Stanford for years. Trained as a pianist from a young age,
DeRose saw her early career threatened when wrist surgery forced her
to put aside her main instrument. Fortunately, one night she took a friend’s
dare and sang onstage at a club. By the time her piano chops recovered,
it was clear that her vocal talents gave her a unique perspective on
the piano and vice versa. Dena’s energetic, swinging, piano is
the perfect accompaniment to her nuanced vocal phrasing, and the interplay
of her talents imbues her interpretations of standards, original tunes,
and little-known gems with personality and sophistication. She can craft
a song into a story with humor, joy, drama, and blues.
Dena DeRose web site
Q&A with Dena DeRose
What is the first recording you remember hearing as a child?
The first recording I remember as a child is a John Denver 8-track
that my parents used to have in our Chevy station wagon.
What’s the strangest experience you’ve
ever had on the bandstand?
The strangest experience I ever had on the bandstand was when I
was playing in an all-female rock band called ‘The Look’ with
and leader of the all-female big band, ‘DIVA’. We were
a rat hole of a club in upstate NY and some older woman, who was
dancing and VERY drunk, fell into my stack of keyboards, knocking
all 3 of them into my lap... not one hit the floor (thankfully)!!!
end, everyone was fine and laughing their heads off!! she said “it’ll
be a story you can tell 20 years from now and still get a laugh (and,
it’s true...it’s more than 20 years later and at least
I still laugh at it).
If you could play with any other musician, living or dead (with
whom you have not played), who would it be and why?
The musician I would most want to play with, in duo piano, is Mary
Lou Williams. actually, I wouldn’t have minded the chance for
accompany my singing, either...but when I first heard the recording
of her with Cecil Taylor, I feel in love with her playing... and I
thought to myself that I would’ve loved to be in Cecil’s
creativity, musicality, energy, sense of time, sense of harmony, and
her love for music has always been very inspiring to me.
Who is your greatest musical influence?
My biggest musical influence has to be Shirley Horn when a friend
of mine introduced me to her records, then getting to see her live,
meet her and talk with her many times before she passed. She
made me see that singing and playing can be its own unique form
of expression that is different than just singing, or just playing
piano. a hybrid, you could say.
What’s your favorite jazz venue?
My favorite jazz venue has to be the ‘Red Sea Jazz Festival’ in
Israel. When I performed there a few years ago, it was the big
festival that I played where the people reacted as if they were at
a rock concert. There were about 10,000 people in the audience
and huge screens everywhere where I saw myself and the band
playing...then, they’d show the audience and the whole place
such an amazing energy!! Really wonderful!
If you were to describe your music as a color, what color
would it be and why?
My original music has many colors. Sometimes I think it has a violet
color, or a deep, dark red color, or sometimes it’s bright yellow
orange. I think it depends on the harmonic or melodic structure.
different chord qualities, for me, have different colors to them as
does ‘keys’ of melodies.