Jazz singer and pianist Dena DeRose is acclaimed the world over for both leading her own groups, and accompanying other famed artists. Get to know more about our TALENT SCOUT Artist of the Week!

NAME: Dena DeRose

HOMETOWN: Binghamton, NY

MUSICAL TRAINING: I started studying piano at age three. When I went to elementary school, I started playing percussion in the concert band and continued that until graduating high school at age 19, all while keeping up private piano and organ lessons. One teacher to note is Niki Cukor, who taught voice technique in Binghamton, NY. I studied with her during a period of time that I could not play piano due to having operations for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Arthritis consecutively between 1988-1990. She taught me so much about breathing, placement and control, and basically helped me to learn to express myself through my voice. New York City and all its wonderful musicians also inspired and taught me so much.

FIRST GIGS: Playing organ for the Dusters Hockey team in Binghamton, NY at the age of 10. That was my first paid gig!

MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Shirley Horn, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Hank Mobley, Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, Red Garland, Bobby Timmons, Wynton Kelly, Dizzy Gillespie, Eliane Elias, Liberace, Carol King, Annie Lennox, Nancy King, Sheila Jordan, and so many others.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: Nancy King.

MY BIG BREAK: Not sure I have had one, yet, but a good bump to my career was a feature article in the NY Times written by Terry Teachout; another great concert I had where I performed solo was on the Marian McPartland’s 30th Anniversary of Piano Jazz live at Dizzy’s in NYC.

LATEST PROJECTS: I have a gig coming up with the great saxophonist Benny Golson in Faro, Portugal with the Algarve Big Band. I also have a new HighNote recording coming later this year featuring my longtime trio with bassist Martin Wind and drummer Matt Wilson, with special guests Houston Person, Jeremy Pelt, and Sheila Jordan.

FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY? I love a grand piano (especially the Yamaha C7), as I mainly play "straight-ahead" jazz. I also enjoy the classic keyboards like the Minimoog and Rhodes for some other projects I’m involved in.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I’ll be in NYC at the Birdland Theater April 24-27, 2019 coming from the Umbria Jazz Festival where I’ll play with a quartet with saxophonist Piero Odorici for five nights.

ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: Listen, listen, listen - to learn whatever music you want to play or sing. And if you aren’t a musician, listen, listen, listen to whatever music you like, as without music in our lives, there is no life!

For more information visit denaderose.com