Dena DeRose

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Dena DeRose
Dena DeRose 2009.jpg
Dena DeRose at the Litchfield Jazz festival in 2009, taken by Ed Newman
Background information
Born (1966-02-15) February 15, 1966 (age 49)
Origin Binghamton, New York, United States
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Pianist, singer, educator
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 1985–present
Labels Sharp Nine, MAXJAZZ
Associated acts Dena DeRose Trio

Dena DeRose (born February 15, 1966) is an American jazz pianist, singer and educator.[1] Although she began her career just as a pianist, medical problems with her hand forced her to become a vocalist as well. She has released seven solo albums.


Early life[edit]

DeRose was born in Binghamton, New York to a construction worker and a former professional ice skater with the Ice Capades.[1][2] She began playing the piano at age three and soon became a fan of jazz.[1] As a child she also played the organ and percussion, and played the piano in school bands.[1] When she was a teenager, she used to drive to New York City to see jazz musicians like Hank Jones and Mulgrew Miller.[2] After high school, DeRose was offered a scholarship to Concordia College but chose to attend Binghamton University instead.[1] At 21, DeRose was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis.[2] Suffering severe pain in her right hand, she was forced to stop playing the piano.[2] Not performing for close to a year she became depressed and turned to drugs and alcohol to help her cope.[1] One night she was in a bar listening to Doug Beardsley's trio when someone suggested that she get up and sing.[1] From then she sang regularly with Beardsley's trio in Binghamton.[1] After approximately another 18 months, she had two surgeries on her right hand which enabled her to begin playing the piano again.[1] She moved to New York City in 1991 to further her career.[3]

Recording career[edit]

She released her debut album Introducing Dena DeRose on the Amosaya Records in 1995 and a year later was renegotiated/leased to the Sharp Nine label. It included jazz standards like "Blue Skies", "How Deep Is the Ocean?" and "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye". Scott Yanow for Allmusic called the album "an impressive beginning".[4] Her second album, Another World, was released in 1998 with a septet of musicians including Steve Davis, Steve Wilson Ingrid Jensen and Daniel Sadownick (perc.).[5] Tracks included standards "Spring Is Here" and "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning", and "Don't Go", which was composed by DeRose. She released two more albums on Sharp Nine, I Can See Clearly Now (2000) and Love's Holiday (2002) before moving to the MAXJAZZ label. Her first album on MAXJAZZ, and her fifth in all, was 2005's A Walk in the Park which featured a trio... that started working together a few years before and would go on to perform together on and off for the next dozen years...with bassist Martin Wind and drummer Matt Wilson. It included versions of Duke Ellington's "The Lonely Ones", John Lennon's "Imagine" and Cole Porter's "I Concentrate on You".[6] Her LIVE CD's on MAXJAZZ include "The Dena DeRose Trio - Live at Jazz Standard, Vol. 1" Template:2007, "The Dena DeRose Trio - Live at Jazz Standard, Vol. 2" Template:2008, and her most recent recording to date "Travelin' Light - Solo - LIVE in Belgium at the Chromatic Attic" 2012 which has garnered reviews that consider this to be the best recording thus far!! She has worked with musicians including the Ray Brown Trio, Clark Terry, Benny Golson, Bill Henderson, Houston Person, Bruce Forman, Judy Niemack, John Clayton, Jeff HamiltonSteve Turre, Mark Murphy, Gene Bertoncini, Wycliff Gordan, Marvin Stamm, Jay Clayton, Alex Riel, Billy Hart, Ken Peplowski. [7]


DeRose has been the Vocal Professor and Head of Jazz Vocals at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz, Austria, since 2006. A regular teacher at the Stanford Jazz Workshop for the past 15 plus years, she also teaches periodically at other summer camp and workshop programs including the Litchfield Summer Camp, Taller de Musics in Spain and the Prince Claus Conservatoire in Groningen, Holland.[8][9]


"The Shadow Of Your Smile" a Rob Bargad recording (1994) (Alfa Records)

  • Introducing Dena DeRose (1996) (Sharp Nine Records)
  • Another World (1999) (Sharp Nine Records)
  • I Can See Clearly Now (2000) (Sharp Nine Records)
  • Love's Holiday (2002) (Sharp Nine Records)
  • A Walk in the Park (2005) (Maxjazz)
  • A Night In Claimont/The December 2nd Quartet (2006) (VegaRecords, Japan)
  • Live at Jazz Standard, Vol. 1 (2007) (Maxjazz)
  • Live at Jazz Standard, Vol. 2 (2008) (Maxjazz)
  • Stars (2010) (Vega Records - Japan)
  • Travelin' Light (2012) (Maxjazz)
  • We Won't Forget You: An Homage To Shirley Horn (2014) (High Note)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Smilde, Rineke (2009). Musicians as Lifelong Learners: 32 Biographies. Eburon Uitgeverij B.V. p. 254. ISBN 90-5972-300-7. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Dena DeRose On Piano Jazz", Piano Jazz (National Public Radio), November 30, 2007, archived from the original on June 15, 2010, retrieved June 15, 2010 
  3. ^ Teachout, Terry (December 24, 2000), "An Accidental Singer and a Reborn Pianist to Boot", The New York Times (The New York Times Company), archived from the original on June 15, 2010, retrieved June 15, 2010 
  4. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Introducing Dena DeRose > Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  5. ^ Loewy, Steve. "Another World > Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  6. ^ Yanow, Scott. "A Walk in the Park > Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  7. ^ Yanow, Scott (2008). The Jazz Singers: The Ultimate Guide. New York: Backbeat Books. p. 65. ISBN 0-87930-825-7. 
  8. ^ "Dena DeRose Biography", Dena DeRose Official site, retrieved July 30, 2010 
  9. ^ DuLong, Jessica (July 22, 2003), "Jazz Lovers", The Advocate (LPI Media): 50–51, retrieved January 27, 2010 

External links[edit]