Denise has performed with many great artists including acclaimed trombonist Ray Anderson, Gospel/Blues legend Jackie Richardson and Flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook. She has opened for Aretha Franklin at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario.
Denise has performed with symphony orchestras and festivals which have included the du Maurier Downtown Jazz Festival (Toronto), Ottawa Jazz Festival, The Royal Canadian Big Band Festival (London), Bluesfest (London), Waterloo Jazz Festival and Sunfest (London), among others.
Denise also enjoys acting and has been part of The Grand Theatre (London) seasons performing in the Fats Waller musical Ain’t Misbehavin’, Wang Dang Doodle with Denis Simpson and A Streetcar Named Desire. Denise’s one-woman show, Jazzabel premiered in September 2004 at the McManus Theatre (Grand Theatre), London, Ontario to sold out audiences! In October 2005 Jazzabel was performed in Washington, DC at the National Museum for Women in the Arts and in February 2006 to audiences in New York City at Urban Stages Theatre. As well, she was premiered in the February 2006 issue of O (Oprah Winfrey) Magazine. Denise’s recording credits include seven CD’s.
She is honoured with being the recipient of the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals. In 2003 she was named a YM-YWCA Woman of Distinction in the Arts and Heritage category. Denise won best jazz artist in London, Ontario’s Music Awards in 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2008, 2009, and 2012. In April 2006 the Hyde Park Rotary presented her with the Paul Harris Fellowship Award, Rotary’s highest honour. In 2008 and 2014 she won Jazz Artist of the Year at the Jack Richardson awards. In February 2009 the London Black History Committee honoured Denise with the Black Community Achievement Award in recognition of her accomplishments, contributions and support to her community. In April 2015 she was inducted into the London Music Hall of Fame. In November 2015 Denise received a honourary licentiate diploma from Conservatory Canada.
Denise is a volunteer with Canadian Aid for Southern Sudan traveling annually since 2007 where she helps to deliver a music and art camp for the children. She is also a board member with Educate the Children helping to raise funds for a school in Nigeria.
Stephen Holowitz moved to London, Ontario in 1983 from his home town of Thunder Bay, Ontario to study pipe organ and piano at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating he dedided to make London his home. He currently teaches at A.B. Lucas Secondary School and is organist at St. James Westminster Anglican Church. In addition to these two occupations, Stephen is busy as a soloist or accompanist in classical, jazz and pop styles.
He was featured in 1999 with the London Encore Concert Band performing works by Duke Ellington and Hoagy Carmichael. He has performed with Orchestra London, the Gerald Fagan Singers, Herencia Latina, and the Hot Latkes Klezmer Band. He is keyboardist and co-composer for the Antler River Project, a London based ensemble that blends jazz, world music, and contemporary compositions into a unique musical experience. They completed a tour of Ireland in July of 2001 with the Guelph Chamber Choir.
Stephen composed music for the Grand Theatre’s world premier of ‘North’ by Greg Nelson (2000) as well as ‘The Wind in the Willows’ (1998) and ‘Anne’ (1999.) On October 17th in addition to Stephen on piano, we will be treated to the talents of Oliver Whitehead on guitar and Sandy MacKay on drums plus a number of special guests.
London vocalist Jessie Ross will be part of the afternoon’s entertainment. At 13 her idols included Ella Fitgerald, Sara Vaughn and Carmen McCrea. Jussie has received the International Young sosoist Award from the Rose Kennedy Foundation. She has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and with a number of Canada’s most respected musicians including Jeff Healey, Guido Basso, Chase Sndborn, et al. Jessie recently returned from Italy where she took part in a festival, made two television appearances on RAI, Italy’s national broadcaster. In June she returned to the Kennedy Center where she participated in an International Festival.