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Denyse Pearson Her name alone is synonymous with jazz class and style. She is graceful and poised and you feel that voice, the diction is precise. Her musical colors are magnificent. Denyse is a native of Washington, D.C. who was nurtured in the jazz tradition at a very early age. Her father, Colón was an accomplished singer in the style of Nat King Cole. Her mother, Pauline deserves much of the credit for Denyse’s inspiration to follow her music dreams. With Denyse at her side, mom took her to countless star- studded evenings of music at the famed Howard Theatre. The family later moved to New Orleans, La. where jazz music became her steady diet starting in public schools as she played the coronet and flute. Denyse attended Xavier University in New Orleans, and is a graduate of Howard University and the University of Maryland. She continued her musical studies privately with Roosevelt Jackson who encouraged her to stay in the jazz idiom. He introduced her to the public in many performances for the Washington Hospital Center community. She enrolled in the Jazz Piano Vocal Workshop at the University of Maryland led by Ron Elliston and Ronnie Wells and accompanied Ronnie on a European tour to Amsterdam, France, Switzerland, and Norway where she got a taste of performing to audiences abroad. A cameo appearance in the film documentary on jazz vocalists Magic in the Moment followed. Shortly afterwards, Denyse studied with University of the District of Columbia (UDC) educator renowned trombonist, and Director of the UDC Jazz Ensemble Calvin Jones who aptly nicknamed her “ Ms. Finewine” for her smooth and sweet vocal style. Denyse has worked with many groups over the years and made appearances at varied venues such as Fort Dupont Park, One Step Down, Moore’s Love & Peace, Mr. Y’s, Lenny’s, Trumpet’s, Charlie Byrd’s Georgetown club, Blues Alley, Jazz Night at Westminster, Carnegie Library, and aboard the USS Norway North Sea jazz cruise. Notable career highlights include performing with Lionel Hampton at President Bush’s Inaugural Ball and being invited to the stage at Catalina’s Bar & Grill in Los Angeles by jazz icon, Joe Williams. In 1989, Denyse released her first self-produced effort entitled “For The Love of It”. Jazz great, Shirley Horn and local radio took note. Denyse relishes performances on stages shared with jazz ancestors such as Nap Turner, Mary Jefferson, Ketter Betts, and Major Holley. In 2010, her most recent recording Something Blue, Something New was released to coincide with a jazz concert billed by the same name. Carrying on the jazz tradition, Denyse continues performing the great jazz standards and also composes original songs. Like fine wine, distinctive, smooth, and sweet Denyse Pearson is a voice and talent you will not soon forget. www.denysepearson.com
Derek Gasqué Derek was born August 23, 1956 in Memphis, TN to a native American/African American middle class family. His early musical ability began with rapping pencils on his mother’s table. She recognized his talent and purchased Derek his first snare drum and folk guitar at age 10. With no formal lessons to his credit, Derek showed remarkable talent and began performing in middle school talent shows, church benefits and U.S. Army youth centers. Derek was a student at Augsburg American High School when he formed his first band. His mother, acting as his agent, booked many ‘gigs” for Derek’s eight (8) piece ensemble, entertaining both American and European audiences. He starred in many school dramas and musical performances while in high school. Derek won many awards and citations during his senior year at Augsburg American High School. His phenomenal talent captured the attention of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. Derek was invited to sit in on numerous occasions as a percussionist. By the time Derek graduated high school, he launched his solo career and exploded as a phenomenal performer and song writer, easy listening crooner and an exceptional Jazz artist. Derek began his college career at Fort Steilacoom College and formed a four person ensemble that gained local fame. He still performs at local venues in and around Tacoma, WA and maintains ties to Memphis, TN where he was a protégé of the late great Rufus Thomas. Derek was greatly influenced by Al Jarreau, because of his voice versatility in Jazz, Pop, and R&B. Performing remained a passion while attending Central Washington University earning a Bachelors Degree in Music Education and Sociology. After college, Derek went to work for the Memphis Department of Social Services. His passion arose again for the musical arts, and began mentoring young people and guiding their careers in the field of music and performances as well as advocating the benefits of education. In the 1980’s, Derek played for several local Memphis churches to include Full Gospel Tabernacle church where the Reverend Al Green is Pastor. He also played keyboard for Melvin Rogers in “Little Big Band”. In December 2007, Derek performed a musical tribute at the Jeter Continental Hotel in Frankfort, Germany. He returned to Europe in 2009 and gained international exposure being featured and performing at local and world renowned Jazz clubs in Czech Republic, Austria, Spain and Italy.
Contact & Booking Denyse Pearson and Her Gentlemen of Distinction Led by Derek A. Gasqué Now Available for Local, National, and International Bookings Duo Trio Quartet Quintet Traditional and Smooth Jazz Rhythm & Blues MsFinewine@denysepearson.com Sean Hansberry 202.215.1500Angela Jackson 901.832.4959