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Graham Dent

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Biography of Graham Dent

Graham Dent has been an active gigging pianist (and guitarist) on the jazz scene for about 50 years, mainly in Midlands but more recently around Frome in Somerset, where he settled in 2016.

His latest album "In The Genes" features his new West Country based piano trio and is a celebration of his six energetic and fun-loving grandchildren, four of whom have recently started to learn the piano. Graham hopes that some of his love of music and especially jazz has fed through in their genes. The album includes tunes inspired by the each of the grandchildren, some original compositions from the repertoire of his quintet Jucamaya, and a Spanish flavoured Chick Corea tune. The music features some infectious creative interplay between the trio members, bringing the best out of Graham's memorably melodic and sometime quirky compositions.

The album "Grateful Hands" brought together the considerable talents of pianist Graham Dent and guitarist David Williams. David is a young musician with a warm mature approach that one might associate with a more experienced player. The styles of the two musicians blend perfectly in this creative collaboration. There is sensitivity, and a certain elegance in their intertwining lines and enough space to allow the music to breathe naturally. Most tracks are standards, but also included are three of Graham's originals from the repertoire of his contemporary jazz quintet Jucamaya.

"Personal Freeway" is Graham's first solo album, featuring his talents on keyboard but also on guitar. It presents a relaxed mood but with the focus clearly on creative exploration, and a purposeful intent to find increased freedom in improvisation, whilst still maintaining contact with the jazz tradition. All but one of the tracks are original, reflecting a broad range of styles.

Graham composes and arranges most of the repertoire of jazz quintet, Jucamaya, the rest being some carefully chosen standards. There is a distinctive rhythmic edge to much of the bandís music, but Jucamaya can swing as well as any other band. In early 2008, Jucamaya released their first album, "Thinking of Joe", the bandís way of remembering Joe Zawinul. Their second album, "Curious Terrain", was released in Sept 2009 and features more compositions by Graham, ranging from the energetic to the introspective.

Graham has worked regularly with Midlands vocalists Roy Forbes and Sheila Waterfield, and has accompanied them both on CD albums. More information on these and all other albums featuring Graham can be found on www.grahamdent.com.

During the 1980ís and 1990ís Graham was a member of the jazz quintet, Footprints, again writing a significant proportion of the bandís repertoire. The band recorded an album, "No Hurries", which was produced by saxophonist Tim Whitehead.

Over the years Graham has accompanied many well known jazz soloists on gigs in the midlands, namely Jim Mullen, Alan Barnes, Dave OíHiggins and Barbara Thompson.

Although he concentrates mainly on playing piano and keyboard, Graham also plays jazz guitar and he is currently learning the sitar. Perhaps surprisingly he played rock guitar in a production of The Whoís Tommy at the Rugby Theatre in 2006. The previous year it was Jesus Christ Superstar at the same theatre.

His favourite pianists are Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea, though he listens to and is influenced by the broadest range of music. His adaptive, rhythmic piano style means he is at home in a variety of musical settings ranging from jazz standards, blues, through to contemporary jazz. Whichever the musical environment, Grahamís sincerity and enthusiasm for his music are always apparent.

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