Dennis Rea's adventurous guitar playing blends modern jazz, creative rock, experimental music, and world musical traditions into an approach that is uniquely his own, marked by haunting lyricism, enigmatic textures, agile improvisation, and the raw dynamism of rock.
Over the years Dennis has led or been a key contributor to such innovative groups as Moraine, LAND, Iron Kim Style, Zhongyu, Stackpole, Savant, Earthstar, Identity Crisis, and Ting Bu Dong. He has performed or recorded with many prominent creative musicians, including acclaimed French composer Hector Zazou, Dutch jazz legend Han Bennink, trombone virtuoso Stuart Dempster, godfather of Chinese rock Cui Jian, and Korean master musician Young Sub Lee, as well as members of King Crimson, Hawkwind, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Santana, Ministry, and the Sun Ra Arkestra. He has performed on three continents at venues such as NEARfest, WOMAD, Beijing International Jazz Festival, Sichuan-China International TV Festival, MuzEnergo Tour of Russia, Ustuu Huree Festival (Tuva), Voice of Nomads Festival (Buryatia), Baja Prog, Sonic Rock Solstice (UK), Bumbershoot, Columbia Gorge Amphitheater, Northwest Folklife Festival, Orion Sound Studios, Earshot Jazz Festival, Chrome Hearts (Los Angeles), and Seattle Art Museum.
Dennis has collaborated with many of the most important figures in contemporary Chinese music and was one of the first Western musicians to record an album for the state-owned China Record Company. His activities have spanned film, theater, radio, and modern dance, and he has appeared on more than 30 recordings to date. He is also an accomplished author whose book Live at the Forbidden City: Musical Encounters in China and Taiwan will be reissued in an updated edition by Blue Ear Books in early 2015. He is a co-organizer of the annual Seaprog festival and the periodic Zero-G concert series, and for more than a decade co-organized the long- running Seattle Improvised Music Festival.