Solo Project
Barbara Dennerlein Duo
Barbara Dennerlein & Bebab
Jazz Meets Church Organ
Barbara Dennerlein & Big Band
Hammond Meets Orchestra
Dennerlein Presents

Two Ladies Of The Hammond Organ:
Barbara Dennerlein & Rhoda Scott

Barbara Dennerlein Meets
Ignatz Netzer & Thomas Scheytt

Making magic with colour and tone - in music and on the canvas

Both father and daughter are masters of improvisation: Hans with colour, shading and form while painting, and Barbara with the nuanced shading of melodic themes and rhythm in the world of jazz. They each use art to capture and convey emotions and feelings, and as artists they are influenced and inspired by the world around them. Over the years a significant interplay has developed between them, with each drawing inspiration from the work of the other. Finally, there are those rare moments, very public yet deeply personal, in which this interplay reaches its zenith: a joint performance of their work in the form of an art exhibit and a concert.

ENCHANTING - Barbara Dennerlein: with touch and tone, Hans Dennerlein: with the blending of colour

One of the most satisfying compliments that Hammond Organ legend Barbara Dennerlein ever received during her World Tour was an observation that her music sounded like Duke Ellington. Considering that Duke Ellington began as a promising commercial artist and painter, it isn t difficult to imagine the connection to Ellington felt by a musician who is the daughter of a master painter. Like Duke Ellington, Barbara Dennerlein blends sound in much the same way as a painter blends colour.

Although she was influenced by her father s talent, she was encouraged to express her artistry in her own unique way. Visually or acoustically both father and daughter create art with a scintillating variety of sensual impressions and originality.

Hans Dennerlein, born in 1933 in Munich, was trained as a professional house painter, but always looked beyond his initial training towards art. He viewed working with shapes and colours as an artistic endeavor. His view: "For me painting is the art of expressing life and capturing feelings with colours. Painting is related to the skill necessary for composing music. Therefore I feel a connection to my daughter through the bonds of family as well as artistry."

The father s controlled use of randomness in his delicate work with the shading of colour, is adapted by daughter Barbara to a rich mixture of musical possibilities using the full range of the Hammond B3's potential. Barbara Dennerlein finds her own unique language on this traditional instrument and expands her powers of expression with each new concert she gives, be it regionally or in the international arena. This is how the artist explains her musical language with words: "My music is full of variation and diversity, just like my feelings or the world in which I live, which also influences and inspires me. A single style or a particular form of composition would only reflect a limited aspect of the complete world my music represents."

At age eleven Barbara received an electric organ as a gift from her grandfather. She discovered the Hammond B3 through her instructor and two short years later, tenderly encouraged by her jazz loving parents, she performed on the concert stage. Barbara was influenced by a wide range of musicians, from Charlie Parker to Duke Ellington, she learned theory, and refined her ability through practice, yet she elevated herself above both: "One can learn the theoretical underpinnings of jazz, but one has to be prepared to free oneself from them, because first and foremost jazz is about feelings."

So Barbara Dennerlein, with an unmistakable gift, remained primarily self-taught. In her first group, which consisted of a guitarist and a drummer, she began to use the bass pedals as a substitute for a bass player. Eventually this developed into a principal characteristic of her performance, an extraordinary mastery of the pedal bass. Her pedal bass playing is so original, intuitive, and masterful that it may never be duplicated by another musician.

In addition: her own record label, band leader, jazz awards, world career, concerts with American jazz greats and Friedrich Gulda, German Jazz Ambassador, and a trailblazer in bringing jazz to the church pipe organ. She is an endearing artist who connects with her audience with a unique blend of openness, humor and respect. And she is also a daughter, who even today enjoys the active support of her mother and father.

Today Barbara returns the favour and presents the spectrum of the creative talents of her father, whose gifts she so abundantly inherited.

More about Hans Dennerlein's artwork