Originally raised in Gurnee, Il; Dennis started playing piano by ear at 8 years old, picking tunes out at the piano and early instruction from his mother. By 11 years, he started formal lessons with Art Peck; studying classical compositions and theory, and later expanding into Jazz and big band. While attending Warren Township High School in Gurnee, he distinguished himself by earning top music awards, not only on piano, but on drums and percussion as well. He was also a participant in Steinway auditions, placing highly in the Chicago area. AIR FORCE BANDS After graduation from high school, Dennis joined the Air Force and became a member of the Air Force Bands for 11 years. During this time he was involved with performances for Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, and the Vice-President George Bush, as well as many visiting dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth II and Pope John Paul II. Being with the Air Force Bands gave Dennis the oppurtunity to perform with many stellar performers: Bob Hope, Leslie Uggams Peter Marchall, Ann Jillian, Aretha Franklin, to name a few.
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA Upon leaving the Air Force in Alaska, Dennis formed his own group, performing with many visiting Jazz stars includin flutist James Newton, and saxophonist Azar Lawrence, and having his rhythm section being hired out with pianist/compser Toshiko Akiyoshi. His associations also let to many TV, radio, and stusio performances.