When I first met Dennis in 2009 at the now-quiet Banjo Jim’s in New York City, we were both younger, and he was restricting himself to clarinet, mandolin, and fiddle, as an integral member of the Cangelosi Cards.


Now see what he’s done!  This video seriously goes where no musician has gone before, and it outdoes Sidney Bechet’s One-Man Band in several ways.  In it, Dennis composes a paean to his musical development, sings, cavorts, and plays violin, clarinet, guitar, mandolin, tenor banjo (and he avoids the difficult non-rhyme), C-melody saxophone, and a few surprises:

Credit where credit is due:

Dancers:  Amy Johnson and Laura Manning.  Band:  Jason Jurzak, Russell Welch, Ben Polcer.  KILLER KOWALSKI PRODUCTIONS.  Director of Photography & Editor: Michelle Nicolette Kowalski.  Production:
Danielle Elizabeth / Tamara Grayson / Russell Welch / Jason Jurzak / Simon Lever / Kerry Genese / Bobby Bonsey / Camila Santos.  Special thanks to Welbourne Farm and Inn and Welbourne Jazz Camp. /  © 2016 Triple Treble Music, all rights reserved

It is terribly unsubtle of me to write this, but the festival promoter or club booker or what have you who can see this video and not think, “I ought to hire this fellow.  Think of all the talent I can snag for one salary!” is someone I can’t imagine.  Find Dennis here or here to make those connections.

Keep on keepin’ on, Dennis.  You’re no fool.  Thank you for the joy and the sounds.

May your happiness increase!


  1. This was recorded between the two one-week sessions of the Welbourne Jazz Camp. Since I attended for the first time this year, I was able to meet Dennis and his fellow musicians. They mostly weren’t on my radar previously, and I’m happy to say that as good as they are musically, they’re also kind, fun, and inspiring instructors (and people) as well.

  2. There is no doubt here! He is an example of what a great musician is made of! Thank you NM

  3. Don "Zoot"Conner

    What a fascinating young man!Thank’s for this unique clip,Michael.

  4. I have admired Dennis and all his talents since I first saw/heard him with the Cangelosi Cards (thanks to your posts on them and seeing them live at Hot Steamed Jazz Festival). Love this post on Dennis, thank you, dear Michael!

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