Collingswood Neighborhood Concerts presents vocalist Denise King and her band
March 7 @ 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM$15
Pianist Suzzette Ortiz proudly hosts “Jazz in the Wood,” First Thursdays Neighborhood Concerts at the Collingswood Community Center, 30 Collings Ave, Collingswood, NJ 08108. Showtime is 7:30-9:00 pm. Tickets: $15 in advance ($20 at the door). Students $5 and children under 12 FREE!
Artists aren’t made, they are born; born with an innate sense of wonder and a unique perspective of the world. Denise King is no exception. Always having a love of music, it wasn’t until the age of thirteen that she was introduced to Jazz by an uncle, Herbert Tatum, who had an extensive collection of Jazz LPs. This love was further cultivated by family, when a cousin Cynthia, shared her passion for the stylings and energy of Nina Simone. Her “studies” involved hours of listening to the Jazz greats, both vocalists and instrumentalists. Denise borrowed phrasing styles from Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat “King” Cole and Frank Sinatra. She gained an appreciation for lyrics from Lil Jimmy Scott, Nancy Wilson, Carmen McCrae and Nina Simone. Listening as intensely to Jazz as she did R&B or music of her era, she had no idea that her listening sessions were preparing her for a career in music.
She was “discovered” by a friend who heard her singing outside of her home in Philadelphia and introduced her to the world of Jazz performance. The early gigs were difficult in that she was painfully stage shy. But with the help of Sam Reed, sax man and leader of the legendary Uptown Theater Orchestra she overcame her stage fright. Her early performance experiences involved sharing the stage with many legends, Butch Ballard, Arthur Harper, Sam Dougherty, Cecil Payne, Jymie Merritt, Bootsie Barnes, Lex Humphries,Phil Wright, Christian McBride, Dexter Wansel, Duane Eubanks, Lonnie Plaxico, Sid Simmons, Dr. Guy Ramsey, Derrick Hodge, Chris Beck, Billy Paul, and many, many more. They taught her the importance of having something to say every time she stepped up to the microphone and also stressed the importance of telling a story through the words and music and not just singing the song. Their instruction paid off. One night while performing at Zanzibar Blue in Philadelphia, Denise met Dexter Wansel, writer,arranger, producer, and A&R director at Philadelphia International Records. That meeting would forge a work relationship that has spanned twenty years.