Dennis Rea

DR_banner_Danette_expDennis Rea’s adventurous guitar playing blends modern jazz, creative rock, experimental music, and world musical traditions into an approach that is uniquely his own, marked by haunting lyricism, enigmatic textures, agile improvisation, and the raw dynamism of rock.

Over the years Dennis, author of Live at the Forbidden City: Musical Encounters in China and Taiwan republished in an updated edition in 2015 by Blue Ear Books, has led or been a key contributor to such innovative groups as Moraine, LAND, Iron Kim Style, Stackpole, Savant, Earthstar, Identity Crisis, and Ting Bu Dong. He has performed and/or recorded with many prominent creative musicians including acclaimed French composer Hector Zazou, Dutch jazz legend Han Bennink, trombone virtuoso Stuart Dempster, godfather of Chinese rock Cui Jian, and Korean master musician Young Sub Lee, as well as members of King Crimson, Hawkwind, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Santana, Ministry, and the Sun Ra Arkestra. He has performed on three continents at venues and events including NEARfest, WOMAD, Beijing International Jazz Festival, Sichuan-China International TV Festival, MuzEnergo Tour of Russia, Baja Prog (Mexico), Bumbershoot, Columbia Gorge Amphitheater, Northwest Folklife Festival, Earshot Jazz Festival, Orion Sound Studios (Baltimore), Chrome Hearts (Los Angeles), Seattle Art Museum, and Seattle Asian Art Museum.

Dennis has collaborated with many of the most important figures in contemporary Chinese music and was one of the first Western musicians to record an album for the state-owned China Record Company. His activities have spanned film, theater, radio, and modern dance, and he has appeared on roughly 40 recordings to date. He is a co-organizer of the annual Seaprog festival and the periodic Zero-G concert series, and for more than a decade co-organized the long-running Seattle Improvised Music Festival.His current projects include instrumental avant-rock band Moraine, Jon Davis’s Zhongyu, processed thumb piano trio Tempered Steel, Flame Tree (with Hawkwind founder Nik Turner), Subduction Zone (with Wally Shoup and Tom Zgonc), the Heaney-Henneman-Rea Guitar Threesome, Don Berman’s Empty Boat, Spectral Waves, the Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra, and Daniel Barry’s Celestial Rhythm Orchestra.
Purchase Dennis Rea’s music and book online.
Dennis Rea’s Blue Ear Books blog posts are archived here.