“master of the jazz bass…”
— Lee Hilldebrand, SF Chronicle
Today, the art of jazz expression and the world of formal education are fully intertwined, both demanding powerful commitment. Pursuing both is immensely challenging. Bassist/composer Jeff Denson is meeting that challenge.
Fully immersed in both worlds since the late 1990s, the bassist/composer has balanced a full career as both an acclaimed performing musician and a highly respected educator. Currently leading or co-leading four distinct ensembles, Jeff has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe with both his own groups – including the renowned cooperative trio Minsarah – and as a sideman with some of jazz’s finest artists, such as Anthony Davis, Mark Dresser, Joe Lovano, Jane Ira Bloom, Kenny Werner, Dave Douglas and an ongoing relationship with the legendary Lee Konitz since 2007.
Jeff has recently released a pair of duo recordings on pfMENTUM Records: Two, with the remarkable European clarinetist Claudio Puntin; and I’ll Fly Away, a re-imagination of hymns and spirituals with pianist Joshua White, who is also a member of the Jeff Denson Trio. That trio performs both as a unit and as The Jeff Denson Trio + 1, featuring a special guest each season (Lee Konitz in 2014/15), and will be touring extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe, as will his ensemble Secret World. Jeff is also exploring new ground with the cooperative experimental ensemble Electreo; and is working on his opera, WEBS.
With a doctorate from the University of California San Diego, Jeff is a full professor at the California Jazz Conservatory, also serving as its Outreach Director, nurturing young musicians into the world of professional performance, while promoting partnerships and relationships among various elements of the Bay Area scene.