Dennis González

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Dennis González
Born1954 (age 67–68)
Abilene, Texas, U.S.
GenresAvant-garde jazz, free jazz
Occupation(s)Musician, artist, writer, educator
Labelsdaagnim, Clean Feed
Associated actsdaagnim, Yells at Eels
WebsiteDennis González on Bandcamp

Dennis González, often credited Dennis Gonzalez (born 1954)[1][2] is a jazz trumpeter, artist, and educator from Texas.


González' primary musical instrument is the trumpet (including B♭, C, and pocket trumpets), though he has also played drums, flute, synthesizer, and baritone saxophone. AllMusic describes González as "[a] talented trumpeter who has recorded a consistently rewarding string of lesser-known dates," whose "playing falls between advanced hard bop and free jazz."[1][3][4]

The Penguin Guide to Jazz notes that González' recordings during the 1980s for Silkheart Records represented "part of a determined effort to wrest creative initiative back from New York and the West Coast."[5] The Penguin Guide further notes that one of González' greatest achievements is having coaxed saxophonist Charles Brackeen out of retirement during the late 1980s, and that by the early 1990s, González "more than ever before... seems the heir of Don Cherry."[5] González was also instrumental in double bassist Henry Grimes' return to performing and recording. Grimes' November 2003 appearance on González' Nile River Suite was the bassist's first official recording in more than thirty-five years.[6]

During the late 1970s, González started the Dallas Association for Avant-Garde and Neo Impressionistic Music, or daagnim, at the suggestion of Anthony Braxton and Art Lande.[2][7] The daagnim organization, which functioned both as a group of musicians and as a record label, was based on and named after the AACM.[2]

In 1978, González began working for Dallas radio station KERA-FM, where he hosted a music program, Miles Out.[8][9] He worked with KERA for 21 years, but left after the station had largely shifted from music programming to a news and talk format.[8]

For several years during the 1990s, González retired from jazz performance and recording.[7][9] In 2001, he formed a trio, Yells at Eels, with his sons Aaron (double bass) and Stefan (drums, vibraphone).[9] In 2010, the trio recorded with Ariel Pink, appearing on the song "Hot Body Rub" on the album Before Today, and on a vinyl EP, Ariel Pink With Added Pizzazz.[9] González's most recent offering with Yells at Eels is a collaboration with Fort Worth experimental drone rock outfit Pinkish Black, entitled Vanishing Light in the Tunnel of Dreams,[10] which was released in May 2020.


As leader[edit]

  • Air Light (Sleep Sailor) (Daagnim, 1979)
  • Kukkia (Daagnim, 1981)
  • Stars / Air / Stripes (Daagnim, 1982)
  • Witness (Daagnim, 1983)
  • Anthem Suite (Daagnim, 1984)
  • Little Toot (Daagnim, 1985)
  • Stefan (Silkheart, 1986) with John Purcell
  • Namesake (Silkheart, 1987) with Charles Brackeen, Malachi Favors
  • Catechism (Music & Arts, 1987)
  • Debenge, Dbenge (Silkheart, 1988)
  • The Desert Wind (Silkheart, 1989) with Charles Brackeen
  • Hymn for a Perfect Heart of a Pearl (Konnex, 1990)
  • The Earth and the Heart (Konnex, 1989) with Nels Cline, Alex Cline, Andrew Cyrille
  • Forever the Falling of Stars (Daagnim, 1995)
  • Home (Daagnim, 2001)
  • Pictogram/Home Away from Home (Daagnim, 2002)
  • Old Time Revival (Entropy, 2002)
  • NY Midnight Suite (Clean Feed, 2004)
  • Nile River Suite (Daagnim, 2004)
  • Idle Wild (Clean Feed, 2005)
  • No Photograph Available (Clean Feed, 2006)
  • Dance of The Soothsayer’s Tongue (Clean Feed, 2007)
  • The Gift of Discernment (Not Two, 2008)
  • Renegade Spirits (Furthermore, 2008)
  • Hymn for Tomasz Stanko (2009) Faruq Z. Bey w/ Northwoods Improvisers Septet
  • A Matter of Blood (Furthermore, 2009)
  • Songs of Early Autumn (No Business, 2009)
  • The Great Bydgoszcz Concert (Ayler, 2009)
  • ScapeGrace (Clean Feed, 2009)
  • Cape of Storms (Ayler, 2010)
  • The Hymn Project (Daagnim, 2011) with Ingebrigt Håker Flaten
  • So Soft Yet (Clean Feed, 2011)
  • Resurrection and Life (Ayler, 2011)
  • Colorado at Clinton (Ayler, 2013)
  • In Quiet Waters (ForTune, 2014)

With Charles Brackeen


  1. ^ a b Yanow, Scott. "Dennis Gonzalez: Overview". AllMusic. Retrieved December 30, 2006.
  2. ^ a b c Smith, Miyoshi (August 1992). "Dennis Gonzalez interview, 1989, New York City". Cadence Magazine. Vol. 18, no. 8. Redwood, New York: Cadnor. pp. 11–18. ISSN 0162-6973.
  3. ^ González, Aaron; Dennis González; Joe Milazzo. "Comprehensive Discography - As Leader". Talismans: The Art, Music and Writings of Dennis González. Archived from the original on July 14, 2006. Retrieved December 30, 2006.
  4. ^ "Biography". Talismans: The Art, Music and Writings of Dennis González. Archived from the original on December 8, 2006. Retrieved December 30, 2006.
  5. ^ a b Cook, Richard; Brian Morton (1996) [1992]. The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (Third ed.). London: Penguin Group. pp. 513–514. ISBN 0-14-051368-X.
  6. ^ Hreha, Scott (2004-07-16). "NY Midnight Suite + Nile River Suite (review)". One Final Note. Scott Hreha. Archived from the original on October 17, 2006. Retrieved December 30, 2006.
  7. ^ a b Goin, Jesse (October 2005). "Dennis Gonzalez : The OFN Interview [part 1]". One Final Note. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
  8. ^ a b Milazzo, Joe (April 2001). "Dennis Gonzalez : The OFN Interview". One Final Note. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
  9. ^ a b c d Hopkins, Daniel (2010-07-08). "Dennis Gonzalez Finally Gets His Due". Dallas Observer. Dallas, Texas: Village Voice Media. ISSN 0732-0299. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
  10. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]