Fall 2016: pianist/vocalist/composer Dena DeRose

Dena DeRose in residence at Harvard University October 30-November 5


Dena DeRose, “the most creative and compelling singer-pianist since Shirley Horn” (Joel Siegel, Washington City Paper), will be in residence at Harvard University October 30-November 5, 2016, sponsored by the Office for the Arts at Harvard’s Learning From Performers program and Harvard Jazz Bands (Yosvany Terry and Mark Olson, conductors). In addition to working and rehearsing with the Harvard Jazz Bands, DeRose will visit classes and participate in two events open to the public:

Thursday, November 3, 4 PM: A Conversation with Dena DeRose, moderated by Callie Crossley, host of "Under the Radar" on WGBH-FM, Holden Chapel, Harvard Yard, Cambridge. Presented by the OFA Learning From Performers program. Admission free (tickets or RSVPs not required); seating first-come, first served, subject to venue capacity. More>

Saturday, November 5, 8 PM: Celebrating Women in Jazz: Dena DeRose in Concert with the Harvard Jazz Bands, Lowell Hall, Kirkland and Oxford Streets, Cambridge. Tickets $10, students and seniors $8, through the Harvard Box Office at Farkas Hall, 10-12 Holyoke St., 617-496-2222.

Read an interview with DeRose by Jake Stepansky '17, on the Harvard Arts Blog>

DENA DEROSE has accumulated an impressive list of performance credits at clubs and in concert halls in the U.S and abroad, and performed and recorded with such greats as Ray Brown, Clark Terry, Marian McPartland, Benny Golson, John Scofield, Phil Woods, Rufus Reidand and many others. As a recording artist, she has 11 CDs as a leader to her credit, all of which have received superior accolades: Cadence Magazine gave DeRose both its Album of the Year and Best Vocal Jazz Album awards for her Sharp Nine releases “Another World” and “I Can See Clearly Now”; “A Walk In The Park,” on the MaxJazz label, received three Grammy Award nominations; and “Live at Jazz Standard, Volumes 1 & 2” also garnered Grammy nods. DeRose’s most recent recording for Maxjazz, “Travelin' Light,” was released in August 2012 and has garnered top reviews in Downbeat, JazzIt, JazzTimes, Podium, and All About Jazz, and made many “Best Of 2012” lists online. Her 2014 recording “We Won't Forget You...An Homage To Shirley Horn,” for HighNote Records, features her trio of 15-plus years (Martin Wind and Matt Wilson) with special guests Eric Alexander, Jeremy Pelt, and Gary Smulyan.

DeRose studied classical piano throughout her childhood, and later was drawn to jazz by playing Count Basie’s music in her junior high stage band. Soon her idols were pianists Hank Jones, Mulgrew Miller, Barry Harris and Kenny Barron. As her career took off, a case of carpal tunnel syndrome, aggravated by arthritis, led her to try singing which, she discovered, helped her add lyricism and phrasing to her piano lines.

DeRose was chosen “Artist Deserving Wider Recognition” by Downbeat's Critic's Poll for six years, and All About Jazz anointed her as a “Jazz Artist of the Year” in 2003 and "Best Jazz Album" of 2007. She has been featured on “Morning Edition” on National Public Radio, and three times on NPR's “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz” including the “30th Anniversary” show recorded live at Dizzy's Coca-Cola Jazz Club in New York with piano greats Kenny Barron, Mulgrew Miller, Bill Charlap, Cedar Walton, Dick Hyman, and others. Dena also appears on the CD “NPR's Piano Jazz Christmas Compilation.”

DeRose has also found time to hone her skills as a jazz educator, and has been on the adjunct faculty at prestigious jazz institutes, including Manhattan School of Music, NYU, The New School, Long Island University, Purchase College in New York, The Hartt School of Music in Connecticut. She was on the faculty for ten years at “New York Comes To Groningen” Prince Claus Conservatoire of Music in Holland. DeRose is currently tenured as the Professor of Jazz Voice at the Jazz Institute of The University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. She frequently leads clinics and workshops at such prestigious schools and festivals at the Stanford Jazz Workshop, Centrum-Port Townsend Jazz, the Dave Brubeck Institute in Oakland, CA, The Jazz School in Berkeley, CA, Taller de Musics in Barcelona-Spain, NJPAC Jazz for Teen Program, The Litchfield Summer Jazz Camp, Jazz Camp West, JEN conferences, the Rotterdam Summer Jazz School, and The Royal Conservatory of Music in Den Haag, among others. She has served as a first-round judge at the Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition and served six years on the New Jersey Star Ledger Scholarship Awards committee.