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Dennis Luxion

Born in Springfield, Illinois in 1952, Dennis Luxion is a jazz pianist, composer and educator. He is currently on the piano faculty of Columbia College Chicago and an active member of the Chicago jazz scene. He performs with his own trio and quintet and at the Green Mill with the Green Mill Quartet. In addition, he works with numerous other band leaders. From 2008-2011, he served as the music director of the Power of Oneness Spiritual Center in Hyde Park.

Luxion traces his musical outlook to his experiences at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in the early 1970ʼs. While studying classical piano with Soulima Stravinsky student Roger Shields, Luxion was an active member of the local jazz community and was strongly influenced by its openness and eclecticism. Although he continued to principally study and play jazz, it was at that time that he developed a broader interest in music. This led to his subsequent studies of classical composition with Frederic Rzewski, Philippe Boesmans and George Flynn; of East Indian music with Swami Nada Brahmananda; of Latin drumming with Geraldo de Oliveira; and of West African drumming as a member of the Chicago Gahu Club under the tutelage of Midawo Gideon Foli Alorwoyie.

After briefly living in Chicago, Luxion moved to Europe and was quickly integrated into the international jazz scene. Soon after arriving in Belgium in 1979, he was introduced to Chet Baker by local saxophone legend Jacques Pelzer. This led to a lengthy musical association: between 1979 and 1983, Luxion made a number of recordings, television and radio appearances, and tours throughout Europe with Baker. This collaboration introduced him to musicians and audiences throughout Europe. Since coming back to Chicago in 1985, Luxion has been active as a performer, composer/arranger and educator. He has worked with Jackie Allen, Steve Allen, Gilad Atzmon, the Brazilian music group Batida, Conte Candoli, Pete Christlieb, Carla Cook, Ernest Dawkins, Diane Delin, Jon Eardley, Von Freeman, Bill Frisell, George Garzone, Dusko Goykovich, Fareed Haque, Marquis Hill, Sheila Jordan, Morgana King, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacey, Howard Levy, Garrett List, Wilbur Little, Kevin Mahogany, Bob Mover, Sal Nistico, Houston Person, Claudio Roditi, Tony Scott, Woody Shaw, Archie Shepp, Gunther Schuller, Judy Silvano, Ira Sullivan, Toots Thielemans, Denise Thimes, Leon Thomas, Greg Ward, Barney Wilen, and James Woode, among others. He served as exclusive arranger and musical director of the Jazz Fauré Project for its debuts in New York and Chicago and as musical arranger for Spider Saloffʼs tribute to Chet Baker, Deep In A Dream, featuring Oscar Brown, Jr., and author James Gavin. In 2012, Luxion toured Southern Africa (Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Angola) with the Dennis Luxion/Michael Raynor Quartet as part of the Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad program administered by Jazz at Lincoln Center for the US State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.

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