Songs from the Heart Part I
BIO- Multi-faceted singer-songwriter Denarris has opened a soulful channel with his beautiful melodies and intimate, heartfelt lyrics. Born and raised in Joliet, Illinois, 40 miles south of Chicago, Denarris grew up at the crossroads of East and West Coast sensibilities and was exposed to many different styles of music. He credits giants such as Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder with shaping his eclectic style. Influences from masters across the musical spectrum, from Henry Mancini to Spyro Gyra, from Earth Wind and Fire and Tower of Power to Chicago and The Who can be heard in his writing to this day. Denarris' parents, Hezikiah Jr. and Bobbie Crudup, grounded him spiritually and supported him musically from his early Laraway Elementary School band years through his 'hard-rock-disturbing-the-peace' phase. In school, Denarris played the alto, tenor and baritone saxes. He branched out into the woodwinds and percussion, gradually becoming an accomplished multi-instrumentalist. Throughout his high school years, he dedicated himself to concert, marching and solo instrument competitions. A major turning point came late in high school: Denarris received his first piano as a gift from his late, much-loved aunt, Gloria Hicks. The piano became his muse, beckoning him to bring to life all the melodies that constantly bombarded this young musician's mind. That piano was also the start of his writing and is the basis for his music today, despite a few detours into R&B, funk and hard rock (he worked with a young Douglas Pinnick, now lead vocalist and bass player for 'Kings III' on Atlantic Records). It was Denarris' original music that caught the ear of Natalie Cole, and shortly after his first interview as a staff writer, Denarris moved to LA. Once in the Southland, Denarris collaborated with The Gap Band and worked with Al McKay of Earth, Wind and Fire. Their single 'Wet Jam,' penned and arranged by Denarris, was released throughout Europe. He also worked with Hazel Paine of the group 'A Taste of Honey' on Capital Records. Denarris' first solo CD, 'Songs of the Heart - Part I, is a smooth, rhythmic romp through the winding ways of the heart. Spirited and true, 'Songs of the Heart' lays down an easy groove that combines several styles into one beguiling whole. 'Songs of the Heart - Part I' is a fully-realized musical adventure--- a profound invitation to take a chance and trust in the knowledge that Love is the ultimate purpose. Two selections from this enchanting CD, 'Malissa' and 'Mixed Bag,' are featured in the independent film, 'Art,' written and directed by David Rosenhaus and produced by Florence Regina. Denarris continues to record his intense and constantly evolving rhythmic and melodic explorations in his own Pro-Tools studio. Throughout it all, Denarris retains his deeply spiritual core, giving all praise to Christ for the gift and opportunity of this musical life.