Pianist and Composer
Nicki Denner has released three critically acclaimed CDs under her own name. Nicki is the Musical Director for the group Cocomama whose debut CD Quiero was included in the 2016 Grammy pre-nominations for Best Tropical Latin album.
Denner has performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the United Nations, Studio 54, the Apollo Theatre, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York City Marathon, the Michigan Womyn’s Festival, the Guatemala City International Jazz Festival and as a musical ambassador for the State Department in Central America.
More about Nicki Denner
Nicki has been a part of the New York Latin and jazz music scene since 1999. Before that, she was an active member of the Minneapolis music community for ten years. She has performed with Sheila E., Savion Glover, Candido, Doc Severinsen, Andrea Brachfeld, Bobby Sanabria, Harvie S., Ray Vega, Pedro Martinez, Manolo Badrena, as well other jazz and salsa artists in the United States and Europe. She has been a pianist for Lincoln Center’s “Meet the Artist” program, Chicago City Limits (a New York City based improv comedy group) and “Broadway Underground” (an Off-Broadway production featuring New York’s finest tap and hip-hop dancers). She has also composed for award-winning film and was commissioned by the New Jersey Tap Ensemble in 2004 to compose music for a piece choreographed by Savion Glover.
Since 2001, Nicki Denner has led her own trio which features Jennifer Vincent on bass, and Willie Martinez on drums. In 2006, the trio released their debut recording, “Moliendo Café”, which was named one of the “Top Ten Picks of 2006” in Latin Beat Magazine.
Ms. Denner has released two other Latin jazz CD’s as a leader, “Don’t Just Stand There” and “El Médico de Coquí” featuring Julian Llanos, former singer with Latin music legend Arsenio Rodriguez. “El Médico de Coquí” spent six months in Latin Beat magazine’s Top 20 Hit Parade. In 2007, it was re-released on Consilience Productions, a new record label promoting “progressive music for the socially curious”.
Along with performing, Nicki is also a devoted educator. As well as having a private teaching studio, she has served on the piano faculty of the Stanford University Summer Jazz Workshop, the Montclair State University Jazz Prep Summer Program and the New York City Tap Festival.
“In my humble opinion, Denner’s new release belongs on every Latin music lover’s shelf, whether such aficionados lean toward Latin jazz or salsa!
“Nicki Denner’s piano playing gets pretty goddamn caliente, whether she’s extrapolating a Latin standard or taking listeners on jazzy jaunts into her lively originals.”