Debbie Denke – The Key Player
Debbie Denke is a classically trained pianist with a passion for jazz and is a dedicated music educator – known for her signature style of Inspirational Jazz Piano. Her father and mentor Frank Denke helped Debbie get her first professional jobs playing piano and organ in San Francisco Bay Area churches when she was 15. During her college years, Ms. Denke studied piano classics by day and played jazz piano in coffee houses and clubs by night. She holds both a B.A. and M.A. in Piano Performance from the University of California Santa Barbara.
Today Debbie specializes in teaching improvisation, jazz theory, and composition. Ms. Denke is the author of several books on keyboard improvisation. She concertizes as a solo and ensemble jazz pianist, singer, gospel choir accompanist, recording artist, and church musician. Her most recent recording is the jazz piano standards album, It’s All About YOU! Future plans include recording works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and other classic composers adding original jazz twists – plus a new album of arrangements and improvisations upon traditional hymns and spirituals.
Debbie Denke lives in Santa Barbara with her musician husband Robert Kim Collins (bassist, vocal director, jazz educator, composer, voice artist). Their daughters Melody and Madeline are busy college students involved in dance instruction and performance, health science and international studies, from the California coast to South Korea.