Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Dennerlein, Barbara (Katharina)
Dennerlein, Barbara (Katharina), organ player, composer; b. Munich, Germany, 25 September 1964. Her mother, Waltraud Dennerlein, was born 24.12.1940 in Munich. He father, Hans Dennerlein, was born 10.12.1933 in Munich/Germany. He is a painter and a pianist. Barbara has no siblings, is not married and has no children.
From 1976-1978, she had a private teacher, Paul Greisl, at Organ School. In 1983, she received an A-Level Degree (Abitur) at Ernst Mach Gymnasium, Haar. From 1984-1986, she did a study of Music Science at the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich. Dennerlein started playing organ at the age of eleven. Just a few years later, aged fifteen, she performed regularly at local jazz clubs. There she laid the foundations for her future career as a professional musician, which, before very long, let her rise to the circle of the few German artists with international reputation and become the leading representative of her instrument, the legendary Hammond B3.
In 1980, she had an engagement in Munich Pianobar Schwabinger Spritzn. In 1982, she performed on radio and TV shows at BR, ARD, ZDF, SWF etc.
In the early 1980's she was a secret known only to insiders on the Munich jazz scene: 15-year-old Barbara Dennerlein, captivating an enthusiastic audience with impressive wit and skill as she whirled her fingers over the B3 Hammond organ - an instrument often derided and associated with the dusty patina of bar jazz. But what this pert, unaffected teenager performed was pure jazz. Many a local jazz celebrity competed to appear on stage together with this prodigy.She spent the years 1985-2001 as a freelancing musician with different groups, appeared on many radio and TV shows, and at festival and club concerts in Europe and the USA, Canad and Japan.
Yet despite all this enthusiasm, scarcely anyone truly believed that this young lady would become Germany's most important and successful jazz export of the 1990s, acclaimed and respected by critics and the public alike on both sides of the Atlantic. In the "Critics' Poll" organized by the renowned American jazz magazine Down Beat she has been among the leaders year after year. In 1998 she took first prize for the fifth time in the "TDWR organ" category; in 1995, for the third time, she carried off the "German Record Critics Award" ("Preis der deutschen Schallplatten-kritik"), on this occasion for her Verve debut albumTake Off. In the same year this successful CD was honoured twice with the "Jazz Award" and, after holding the Number One position in the German Jazz Charts for several months, proved to be the best-selling jazz album of 1995.
Above all, she is one of the very few organists who play a pedal bass. "The pedals are absolutely crucial for my way of playing the Hammond organ. They enables me to create a very special rhythmic structure which cannot be easily imitated by the double-bass, since together with the two manuals I have a kind of "rhythmic triptych" at my disposal," explains Barbara Dennerlein.
Besides her concert tours in Europe, USA and Japan, she performs at famous jazz clubs such as New York's Blue Note and Sweet Basils, London's Jazz Cafe and Ronnie Scott's and at the Meridien in Paris. For years she has been invited regularly to play at many international festivals like Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton, Victoria, Den Haag, Pori, Molde, Arhus, Kortrijk, Vitoria, Berlin, Frankfurt, Leverkusen, NYrnberg, Vilshofen, Burghausen, Hannover, Hamburg and more.
In concerts and on her records Barbara Dennerlein presents herself as competent representative of a new generation of jazz musicians. With her open-mindedness and her receptiveness to new musical developments - not only in jazz - she forges links between the past and the present; reflecting yesterday, interpreting today. And she converts this broad stylistic spectrum into a musical conception which is characterized by an enormous coherence.
Over the years she has recorded and performed with exceptional musical personalities such as Don Alias, Ray Anderson, Bob Berg, Randy Brecker, Dennis Chambers, Thomas Chapin, Roy Hargrove, Howard Johnson, Frank Lacy, Joe Locke, David Murray, Tony Reedus, David Sanchez, Andy Sheppart, Mitch Watkins, Friedrich Gulda and Joe Zawinul among many others. Barbara Dennerlein's wide musical spectrum also includes recordings with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Symphonic, the SFB String Orchestra (Berlin), the big bands of NDR, HR, WDR and the Landesjugendorchester Hessen.
Jazz Live (1983); Orgelspiele (1984); Bebab (1985); Days Of Wine & Roses (1986); Tribute To Charlie (1986); From The Roots Up (1987); Today (1987); Striaght Ahead (1988); Barbara Dennerlein (1988); Plays Classics (1988); Live On Tour (1989); Barbara Dennerlein (1990); Duo (1990); Hot Stuff (1990); Mozart No End And (1991); The Paradise Band (1992); That's Me (1992); Barbara Dennerlein (1992); Barbara Dennerlein B3 (1993); Take Off (1995); Junkanoo (1996); Orgelspiele (1999); Barbara Dennerlein (1999); Plays Classics (1999); Outhipped (1999); Love Letters (2001); Spiritual Movement No. 1 (2002)
From The Roots Up Today (1987, Sampler); Fredrich Gulda: Mozart No End And The Paradise Band (1991); Jazzkantine: Heis & Fettig (1995); Hypersax: Little Fishermen (1996); Fizze: Penni Waali (1997); Cultured Pearls: Space Age (1997), NDR Big Band: Bravissimo II (1998); Dirko Juchem: Acoustic Groove (1999); Blues De Vache: Wiz Pipole, Vol. II (1999); Hilfe for Kosovo (1999); Oldtime Blues And Boogie Duo: Drowning In The Blues (2001); Russ Spiegel: Twilight (2001); Peter Autschbach Projekt: Feelin' Dunk (2002)
1985 Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik for LP "BEBAB" (Bebab Rec.)
1986 Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik for CD "Tribute To Charlie" (Koala Rec.)
1990 1. Platz im Critic's Poll, TDWR des amerikanischen Downbeat
1991 1. Platz im Critic's Poll, TDWR des amerikanischen Downbeat
1993 1. Platz im Critic's Poll, TDWR des amerikanischen Downbeat
1995 Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik for CD "Take Off" (Verve/Motor Music)
1995 Platz 1 der Jahres-Jazz-Charts in Deutschland mit CD "Take Off"
1995 Platz 1 der deutschen Jazz-Charts Yber Monate hinweg
1995 1. Jazz Award for CD "Take Off"
1995 2. Jazz Award for CD "Take Off"
1996 1. Jazz-Award for CD "Junkanoo" (Verve/Motor Music)
1996 1. Platz im Critic's Poll, TDWR des amerikanischen Downbeat
1997 Kulturpreis der Regierung von Oberbayern for besondere kulturelle Verdienste
1997 2. Jazz-Award for CD "Junkanoo"
1998 1. Platz im Critic's Poll, TDWR des amerikanischen Downbeat
1999 1. Jazz Award for CD "Outhipped" (Verve/Universal)
2000 Nominierung for "Jazz Awards 2000" USA, fourth annual presentation of honors for excellence in jazz music and jazz journalism produced by the JJA (Jazz Journalists Association)
2001 2. Jazz Award for CD "Outhipped"
Barbara Denerlein: Das Jazz-Portrait - Jimmy Smith, in: Jazz-Zeitung, 10/12 (Dec.1985)
Hans Kumpf: Barbara Dennerlein. Mit Perfektion und Charme, in: Jazz Podium, 38/11 (Nov.1989)
Robert Goldblum: Barbara Dennerlein. Magic Red's Left Foot, in: Jazziz, 8/3 (Apr/May 1991)
Brian Morton: Barbara Dennerlein. Hammonds Are a Girl's Best Friend, in: The Wire, #90 (Aug.1991)
Sid Gribetz: Barbara Dennerlein - Taking On the Hammond B-3, in: Jazz Times, 21/6 (Sep.1991)
Kascha Kumpf: Barbara Dennerlein. Abenteuer im Wunderland Jazz, in: Jazz Podium, 41/2 (Feb.1992)
Bill Milkowski: HearSay. Barbara Dennerlein- Road Warrior, in: Jazz Times, 26/2 (Mar.1996)
Guenter Hottmann: Barbara Dennerlein, in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Magazin, #837 (15.Mar.1996)
Gudrun Endress: Barbara dennerlein. Freiheit im Ausdruck, Offenheit beim Spiel, in: Jazz Podium, 46/6 (Jun.1997)
Geert-Jan Bron: De bronnen van organiste Barbara Dennerlein, in: Jazz Nu, #218 (Jul/Aug.1997)
Mattias Kolwe: Barbara Dennerlein. ich bin Organistin, basta!, in: Jazzthetik, 11/7-8 (Jul/Aug.1997)
Ronald Atkins: Foot to the Floor, in: Jazzwise, #4 (Jul/Aug.1997)
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