Allen Dennard is a trumpeter, composer and bandleader who was born and raised in the city of Detroit, Michigan. At the age of 9 Allen decided to join his elementary school’s band, John Trix Elementary. From then on he never put the trumpet down, finding a whole new passion for instrumental music. In 5th grade Allen was introduced to jazz, but his understanding and liking toward it was not yet found. Throughout middle school Allen decided to stop playing jazz and took up classical music instead. Little did he know that in the near future he’d come to find himself feeling restricted while playing classical music. Throughout high school he still chose to play classically, but around the 10th grade he decided to dive back into jazz. From then on he chose jazz as his musical style. He began to study players such as Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, Woody Shaw, Lee Morgan, and Roy Hargrove just to name a few. Around his senior year of high school Allen had the privilege of being mentored by the great Marcus Belgrave, one of Detroit’s own legendary trumpeters. From then on Allen’s involvement in jazz increased exponentially. After high school Allen decided to attend the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor where he received a full ride from the university’s jazz department. From then on he obtained other pivotal opportunities that would further him in his music career. Allen has made three appearances as a sideman in the Detroit Jazz Festival, one being with the great saxophonist Wendell Harrison (2015), one being with Detroit bassist Ali Bey (2017), and lastly with the Detroit Jazz Festival All-Star Alumini Band (2019). In January 2019 Allen was chosen by the Detroit MetroTimes as one of ten artist they thought would become famous in that year. Soon after that Allen was approached with many interview requests, one being with Detroit Public Television/ PBS and the other being with Honeysuckle Magazine, a New York City based magazine company. Aside from that Allen has worked with several artist from the Detroit Music Factory label, such as Gayelynn Mckinney, De’Sean Jones and Sean Dobbins. He has also worked with Detroit saxophonist David McMurray from the Blue Note record label. Adding to that, Allen also got the opportunity to share the stage with New York based saxophonist J.D Allen, who is with HighNote Records. In October 2018 Allen had the opportunity to work with famous R&B artist Ray J, being a member of the pit orchestra in a play that Ray J was in. In the same year Allen was chosen to be in the horn section for the MC5 reunion in Detroit, sharing the stage with musical icons such as Wayne Kramer. Following after that Allen went on to record on one of Alice Copper’s latest albums in 2019. Allen is a bandleader and has three of his own groups, the Allen Dennard Trio, the Allen Dennard Quartet and the Allen Dennard Quintet. All groups have been headliners in venues around Detroit, Metro-Detroit and the entire state of Michigan, such as Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, Cliff Bell’s, The Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe, Bert’s Marketplace, The Blue Llama, The Whisky Parlor, etc. He has also been the headliner for several local festivals around Detroit, such as “Jazzin at the Vanity”, “Jazz on the Ave” and one of the more well known ones the “African World Festival” held at the Charles H. Wright Museum. The Allen Dennard Quartet has also traveled around the Midwest to areas such as Sylvania, OH. Allen’s music is a mixture of jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and funk. Allen still resides in Detroit, focusing on furthering his musical career in the local, national and international music scene.
Allen Dennard Quintet
For over 40 years, the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation has celebrated Detroit’s rich history of jazz music by providing year-round concerts and educational programming, and of course, organizing the world’s largest free Jazz festival, featuring world-class talent, over Labor Day weekend.