Jeff Denson About the Educator

In the current jazz environment, the art of jazz expression and the world of formal education are fully intertwined. Serious dedication to either path takes powerful commitment, but fully pursuing both demands a level of diligence and focus that is immensely challenging. Jeff Denson is a man who is meeting that challenge.

Fully immersed in both worlds since the late 1990s, the bassist/vocalist/composer has balanced a full career as sideman and leader while pursing his formal education that ultimately led to him earning his doctorate. In addition to maintaining an intense performing and touring schedule throughout the U.S. and Europe, including a long relationship with legendary saxophonist, Lee Konitz that continues to this day, Jeff has also taught extensively all over both continents. Jeff has performed with jazz luminaries such as Brian Blade, Dave Douglas, Charles McPherson, Geoffrey Keezer, Mimi Fox, Jane Ira Bloom, Walter Smith III, Dayna Stephens, Warren Wolf, Romain Pilon and more.

Jeff is a full professor at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, California where he is the head of the Bass Department and teaches a variety of lecture courses, ensembles and private lessons. In addition, Jeff is a faculty member of the Golden Gate Bass Camp in San Francisco, California each summer and teaches lecture courses for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. While this intensive level of activity is easily a full-time job, Jeff takes a relentless 24/7 approach, composing for and leading several distinct ensembles, participating in a few cooperative groups and working on compositional and educational projects, all while maintain his international touring career.

He is currently focused on multiple projects as a leader, the Jeff Denson Quartet (featuring Jeff on bass and vocals and has included such extraordinary trumpeters as Ralph Alessi and Cuong Vu (former member of the Pat Metheny Group) and bassoonist extraordinaire, Paul Hanson (former member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones), The San Francisco String Trio (featuring virtuoso guitarist and fellow TrueFire instructor, Mimi Fox and two-time Grammy-winning violinist, Mads Tolling) and the Jeff Denson Trio +1 a project featuring a special guest artist each season.

For Jeff Denson, these multiple commitments do not create conflict, but rather, confluence.

Jeff is a Zon Bass and Aguilar Amplification endorsing artist.

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