Dennis started Violin and Guitar at age 10, and has been playing, performing and teaching music since 1972.
At age 13, Dennis discovered both the Banjo and Bluegrass, and became aware that music was something incredibly special to him - something that Dennis would forever be a part of and would forever be a part of him. During this very fast-paced period through 1980 Dennis’ primary instrument changed from Violin to Banjo, then to Guitar (finger-style), then back to Violin. Dennis’ Banjo playing from this period covered and reflects all styles. Dennis’ Guitar playing was heavily influenced by Chet Atkins/Jerry Reed, Classical Guitar and various ethnic finger-styles. Dennis’ Violin playing, even more than the Banjo playing, pulled from every musical resource that Dennis could find. Being from Louisiana, Dennis was heavily influenced by Texas Fiddlers and Cajun Fiddlers as well as Bluegrass/Old Time Fiddlers. Jazz became very important to Dennis’ Violin playing, as he learned from the playing of Stephane Grappelli and Jean-Luc Ponty. Lastly, the Ponty experience inspired some Classical Violin study. Dennis taught himself to read music and Music Theory during this early period as well.
By 1981, age 19, Dennis had already won 4 State Championship Titles in Fiddle & Banjo.
New Orleans! The 80's was also a fast paced time. During this period Dennis received formal training in Jazz & Classical styles from Loyola University, New Orleans. Dennis also studied Jazz Guitar, Cello, Theory & Composition and Electronic Music Synthesis while at Loyola. The 80's is also when Dennis left the acoustic music world for the most part and went electric. Playing music full-time professionally with dance-bands that had all electric instruments and drums required the change to Electric Violin, but the change would have come anyway, as Dennis soon broke into the Rock scene. Having discovered the music of Steve Morse/Dixie Dregs, as well as Jean-Luc Ponty, Dennis was greatly fascinated by the possibilities of the Violin in Rock. Included in the Jazz-Rock ensembles that Dennis played with during this time was "Woodenhead", a sort of New Orleans version of the Dixie Dregs. During this period Dennis’ Violin technique skyrocketed as the classical studies merging with the many different varieties of improvisation brought me to new levels.
The beginning of the 90's saw a slowdown in progress as change was around the corner, spawning a career change in the mid 90's to the Information Technology Industry. During the early 90's Dennis learned about MIDI, sound programming and recording engineering. In 1992 Dennis won the Florida State Fiddle Championship. After moving to Richmond, Dennis then took 7 years away from playing music to realize the (temporary) career change into Information Technology.
The New Millennium! He’s Back! Starting with the new millennium, Dennis restarted his musical career! First with the Richmond Philharmonic, then professionally with Bands of all genres. Dennis won the 2002 Virginia State Fiddling Championship, the Bluegrass Fiddling Championship at the Masters Of Traditional String Music 2003, Roanoke Invitational, a National-Level Competition, the 2004 Virginia State Fiddling Championship, the 2007 Virginia State Fiddling Championship, the 2009 Virginia State Mandolin and Banjo Championships, the 2010 Virginia State Mandolin Championship, and the 2012 Virginia State Mandolin and Banjo Championships.