Sessional Lecturer, Jazz Studies
Director, Jazz Ensemble II
MMus, BMus (Br.Col.)
Since moving to Vancouver in 1980, Dennis Esson has established himself as a highly respected and sought after trombonist for a wide variety of musical endeavors.
As a jazz musician Dennis has recorded numerous CBC sessions as a featured soloist. He is also the lead trombonist with groups such as the “Vancouver Ensemble of Improvisation (VEJI)”, “Orquesta Goma Dura”, “Jill Townsend Big Band”, “Hard Rubber Orchestra” and the “Fred Stride Jazz Orchestra”. Some of the musicians he has performed with include Kenny Wheeler, Phil Woods, Eddie Daniels, Marvin Stamm, David Foster, Maynard Ferguson, Natalie Cole, Clark Terry, Bud Shank, and Phil Nimmons. He has appeared and performed at all of the major jazz festivals across Canada.
In addition Dennis was the recipient in 1993 of a Canada Council of the Arts “B” grant to study jazz trombone in New York where he studied with Conrad Herwig, Steve Turre, Benny Powell and Slide Hampton. More recently he resumed his studies and completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Orchestral Performance from the University of British Columbia.
As a music educator Dennis has been the Jazz Trombone instructor at Capilano College since 1997 and has been the director of the UBC Jazz Ensemble 2 since 2000. In addition he has been on the faculty of the Courtney Youth Music Center since 2000 and prior to that time he was on the faculty of the Okanagan Summer School of the Arts from 1984-1999.
As an adjudicator Dennis has appeared at many festivals throughout B.C. and western Canada including Kelowna, Edmonton, Whistler, Surrey, Burnaby, and Vancouver. He has also performed clinics and master classes at universities, colleges, and secondary schools throughout Canada.
Dennis has also recorded music for movies, commercials, soundtracks and cartoons in addition to albums with many pop and rock groups such as Stephen Fearing, The Paperboys, Buddy Miles, The Salteens, Veda Hille and others. He has also been in the pit orchestras for Broadway shows such as Chorus Line, The Full Monty, and 42nd Street.
Dennis is a Yamaha trombone artist and performs and records on the YSL697Z trombone.