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Tanya Dennis

A gifted violinist and singer, Tanya Dennis is a stylistically wide-ranging performer, who has explored jazz, country, Latin, and other global traditions. Dennis first garnered attention as a touring musician, working with Faith Hill, Reba McEntire, and others. As a solo artist, she debuted in 2000 with the Americana-steeped Waterdance, followed by the 2003 country album Apartment #9. She also showcased her jazz skills on 2021's White Sails Blue Skies.

A native of East Tennessee, Tanya Dennis' musical career began in earnest while she was attending the University of Miami, where she studied music as well as fronting an R&B/funk band and singing with jazz, Latin, and country acts. After leaving Miami and spending three years in Seattle, Dennis chose to return to her home state of Tennessee, relocating to Nashville to pursue a career and putting together a band with whom she would perform regionally for the next four years. During this time, Dennis also became a staff vocalist, providing demo vocals for other aspiring artists and singing on television commercials. She received her break in 1993 when one of the demos on which she appeared came to the attention of a noted Nashville record producer, and she was invited to join Faith Hill's touring band as a backup singer. The opportunity led to more road work with artists like Bill Anderson, Ira Sullivan, Eddy Raven, and Wade Hayes, as well as the chance to appear as an opening act for Reba McEntire, Leann Rimes, and Little Texas. In 1997, while touring as a member of Skip Ewing's band, Dennis was offered a management deal by Ewing's manager, which led to the independent release Waterdance two years later; the album included a duet with Survivor keyboardist and songwriter Jim Peterik. Follow-up Apartment #9 was released in 2003, and after a decade spent sailing and fixing up a 50-foot sloop, Dennis returned in 2021 with the contemporary jazz album White Sails Blue Skies.

Source: Matt Collar, All Music Guide


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