Phil Denny will headline this year’s Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival, to be held Oct. 4-6, 2019 between 18th Ave. North to 21st Ave. North on Carver Street in Myrtle Beach, S.C. As always, admission is free.
Dubbed Lansing’s impresario of smooth jazz, the Michigan transplant’s most recent album Align was home to “Switch Up,” proclaimed a No. 1 single by Billboard, Mediabase and Smooth Jazz Network. In all, Phil Denny has appeared six times on the Billboard charts, in a career that dates back to his 2012 debut album Crossover. Denny’s single “Diggin’ On” went to No. 13 in 2017; “Feel All Right,” also from Align, rose to the Top 10.
He promises an eclectic show as part of the fourth annual Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival. “Phil Denny music is truly instrumental R&B and pop music with improvisation,” the Florida native told LCC Radio. “It can be smooth, up-tempo, energetic, sultry, funky or passionate. It’s labeled smooth jazz for marketing and for radio. True fans of this music are also lovers of old school, R&B and Motown.”
Denny took up the saxophone at 12, later perfecting his skills under the direction of high-school band instructor Josh Hicks and as part of the Lansing Community College Jazz Ensemble. Initially, however, Denny chose a career in marketing and mortgage lending, before returning to his first love: music.
“Because of the economic times, I had to reevaluate where I was and where I wanted to go,” Denny told CAWLM. “So, I fell back on my talent in music. I believe in what I do and I enjoy it. What I do is more personal than if I were to work in the corporate culture.”
He’s since appeared at the Dubai International Jazz Festival and the Hyatt Regency Newport Jazz Festival, headlined the Jazz Under the Stars event in Nairobi, Kenya, and co-headlined the Arizona Jazz Festival, the inaugural GRandJazz Fest, the Cancun Jazz Festival, the Seabreeze Jazz Festival and his own annual Smooth Jazz Fete in Lansing. Phil Denny has also appeared as a sideman with guitarist Peter White.
“Best part about the road is sharing your music,” Denny told LLC Radio, “the new experiences and the meeting of new fans. I love my fans! I’ve always said, ‘You never know where music make take you next.’ I consider each opportunity a fortunate experience to do what I love.”
Later this fall, Phil Denny says he plans to return to the studio and complete a five-track EP.