Thunder/Clinician/Master Drum Instructor Firehouse Music
Artist's BiographyDenny has been playing drums for quite a few years now. He started playing in 1965 and was playing professionally before he left high school. He studied under Joe Raynor for a number of years. He enjoyed Big Band Jazz Drumming and studied under Hal Tennyson’s Young Jazz Artist. In the 1970’s he was a Drum Instructor for H & H Music. He was a Music Major at San Jacinto Jr. College and the University of Houston. Denny has always been known as a showman and gained national recognition for his Drum Exhibitions and extended drum solos. At one time, Denny was a member of the National Association of Rudimental Drummers (NARD) and is a member of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS). Denny is a skilled rudimental drummer and learned back sticking from Mitch Markovitch. He traveled with Operation Morale during the last part of the Vietnam War and entertained troops in Texas and California. Denny played in many bands during his professional career. These bands included The Bone Garden, Street Corner Society, Texas Hot Shots, and The Wayward Gap. From 1971 through 1975 Denny led his own band called Southbound. The Jazz/Rock format of Southbound would go to form the concept for Thunder, the band he currently leads and arranges for. In 1975 Denny went on the road and played with Vince Vance and the Valiants. He continued his road tour with Full House and Four by Four. Denny was a member of the Houston Police Concert Band and Orchestra.
Denny title at the Firehouse music stores is Master Instructor of Drumming. He will not teach a student unless they are willing to learn to read music, learn the rudiments. He has a waiting list of students and schedules new ones only when an opening occurs. He is a competent Praise and Worship Drummer and is called upon to play at area churches when their drummer is out. He is the drummer on call at Ace Music Theater which specializes in Broadway Production put on in Houston. These require precision reading and impromptu percussion ad-libs when sound effects are called for. Denny leads his own band, Thunder, which is a 13 piece band that plays all styles of music. Denny is published and writes drum related articles on a national level. One such article appeared in the Not So Modern Drum Magazine, Volume 13 #2 2nd Quarter Summer Fall 2004 “The 1941 Gene Krupa Armature Swing Drummer Contest” Denny has also written several drum solo pieces that are performed annually at his Drum Recital held each year in Tomball, Texas. Denny gives area clinics on drum history, technique and style, rudimental drumming, coordinated independence and a variety of drum styles. Denny is kidded by his friends as the “Ludwig Drummer” because of his playing of Ludwig drums all his life. Denny said at a clinic in Tomball, “When I was 12 years old and wanted a set of drums, my father looked into what was considered the best drums made. As he could afford them, I got my first set of Ludwigs. I still have that set and teach on it four days a week. I could buy any set I want today but play Ludwig. I know their history, how they are made, who played them and love their sound. I own Ludwig drums dating back to the 1920’s and my collections continue through the 1990’s. I believe in the drums, the way they are constructed and having played them for 40 years, I see no reason to ever switch to another brand. As a hobby I have restored quit a few Ludwig drum sets from the 1960’s and 70’s. In fact, two of the sets I play out are Ludwig sets I restored back to their original condition. I sometimes give clinics on them. One of my prize drums is a modern Black Beauty Snare drum that John Aldridge engraved for me. It doesn’t set of the shelf…it is played! ” Denny plays Zildjian Cymbals as well and still has his first set.