Dena DeRose began formal piano training at the age of three after her mother heard her pick out melodies on a toy chord organ. She studied classical music into high school but by 17, was so compelled by jazz that she would sneak out of Binghamton once or twice a week and drive four hours into New York City to hear idols like Hank Jones, Kenny Barron and Mulgrew Miller (now her label mate) perform. In 1989 through 1991, Ms. DeRose had two surgeries on her right hand for carpel tunnel syndrome and arthritis. Not being able to play the piano forced her to find a creative outlet that lead to an unknown talent and love for singing. By 1991, DeRose returned to playing the piano and moved to New York City to build her jazz career.
As a pianist and vocalist, Ms. DeRose has performed with the Ray Brown Trio, the Clark Terry Quintet, Benny Golson, Ray Drummond, Bill Henderson, Ken Peplowski, Houston Person, Mark Murphy, Lewis Nash, Don Braden, Rufus Reid, Slide Hampton, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Steve Davis, Bill Henderson, Kenny Washington, and Bucky Pizzarelli, to name a few. Her trio has been featured at the annual IAJE jazz industry conference (New York City and Toronto), the Monterey Jazz Festival (CA), the North Sea Jazz Festival (the Netherlands), The Red Sea Jazz Festival (Israel), The Estoril Jazz Festival (Portugal), The Ancona Jazz Festival (Italy), the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Jazz Standard (NYC), Yoshi’s, (SF) Jazz Alley (Seattle), Smoke (NYC), the Blue Note (NYC), Body and Soul and Swing Hall (Tokyo), and many others.
An experienced music educator, DeRose is the head of the vocal jazz department of The University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz, Austria and is on the faculty at the Prince Claus Conservatoire of Music in the Netherlands. She teaches every summer for the past 12 years at the Stanford Jazz Workshop in Palo Alto, CA and various other summer jazz camps throughout the U.S. and Europe. She was also selected as a judge for the 2004 Thelonius Monk Competition in Washington, DC, at The Kennedy Center.
Selected as a “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” in DOWNBEAT’s 2002 and 2006 and one of ten “Best Female Jazz Vocalists” in DOWNBEAT’s 2006 Critics Poll, DeRose has been featured in the NEW YORK TIMES, L.A. TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, JAZZTIMES, JAZZIZ, THE HARTFORD COURANT, THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICAL, SINGER MAGAZINE and on NPR: “Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland”; “Morning Edition”; and on “Jazz Set with Dee Dee Bridgewater.”
Her self-produced debut recording as a leader, Introducing Dena DeRose, received rave reviews as did her three consecutive CDs, all on Sharp Nine Records: Another World; I Can See Clearly Now; and Love’s Holiday. Her CD A Walk In the Park is on the Maxjazz label and has received rave reviews along with 3 Grammy considerations. DeRose’s much anticipated new CD’s will be released in Oct. 2007 with “THE DENA DEROSE TRIO ‘LIVE AT JAZZ STANDARD’ VOLUME I” and in May 2008 with “THE DENA DEROSE TRIO ‘ LIVE AT JAZZ STANDARD’ VOLUME II”.
For more information, visit www.denaderose.com