June 11th, 2018
Doors At 7. Music At 7:30pm
Multi-instrumentalist, poet, and visual artist Dennis Gonzalez performs a set of duo music with Chicago bassist Kent Kessler. A conversation with Tim Daisy follows. Photo by Nuno Martins.
DENNIS GONZALEZ is a musician/composer, visual artist, broadcaster, writer, educator, linguist, and Artistic Director of the free after school Dallas music program for kids, La Rondalla since 2010. He has lived in Dallas for the past 40 years. He has recorded 50 jazz CD's and LP’s as a leader for 9 European record labels, as well as 6 U.S. record companies. He also runs his own label in Dallas, daagnimRecords. He began playing music and singing in the Southern Baptist church, under his mother's teaching. His emphasis on the sound of his trumpet and his new approach to playing has garnered praise from listeners and critics internationally.
His international music career began in Dallas at his home studio, inviting musicians playing at Ft. Worth’s Caravan of Dreams to work on musical projects. In New Orleans, he worked with the cream of that city’s musicians, and in California, he connected musically with the L.A. cadre of musicians. His European connections grew as he began traveling with his music and visual art, playing in the major centers of jazz since 1980. The list of musicians he has collaborated with is impressive. These include Malachi Favors, Oliver Lake, Alvin Fielder, Ahmed Abdullah, Famoudou Don Moye, Olu Dara, Curtis Clark, Reggie Workman, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, and Douglas Ewart.
He has performed in festivals, concerts, workshops, and television and radio programs throughout Asia, Europe, Central America, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and in most major American cities. For a decade, he was a vibrant part of the Austin creative music scene, associated with Tina Marsh and the Creative Opportunity Orchestra for which he was commissioned to write several full-length pieces. In 2018, his jazz trio Yells at Eels, with sons Aaron and Stefan, is celebrating 19 years of existence. His newest trio project, Ataraxia, plays traditional Sri Lankan music as well as his own compositions with a jazz bassist, a Sri Lankan hand drummer, and Gonzalez himself on trumpets, voice, and percussion.
He produced radio programs for National Public Radio affiliate KERA-FM in Dallas for 21 years and produced programs at UNT's KNTU-FM in Denton and Radio Študent in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where he also led three different incarnations of his Ljubljana New Music Workshop Orchestra. His Dallas productions Miles Out; The New Jazz Review; The Literary Review; Pirate Radio; and Eduardo Mata's; The Music of Hispano- America; have all reaped international acclaim.
Gonzalez is a renowned visual artist with exhibits around the world from 1978 to the present, as well as an accomplished writer, with two books to his credit: Xí and Cú, both bilingual editions of his travel poems. His writings have appeared in many anthologies.
Dennis Gonzalez is fluent in 3 languages, taught in Texas public schools for 41 years, and has also held residencies in multidisciplinary subjects at area universities, as well as European universities and high schools in Europe, Central America, and the U.S.
In the past year, daagnimPublishing has published 5 art catalogues featuring different facets of Gonzalez’s artwork .