Charlie Dennard (b. Nov. 3, 1969) is an American keyboardist, composer and arranger who is currently the musical director for Cirque du Soleil’s touring production “Totem”. Over the last 20 years Charlie has performed and recorded internationally with a variety of jazz, blues and world music ensembles as well as theatrical productions. From 2002 to 2007 Charlie was the assistant bandleader and keyboardist for the Grammy nominated Cirque du Soleil show “Alegria” and with them successfully performed over 1,700 shows in 12 different countries. Before joining Cirque du Soleil, Charlie received his Masters Degree in Music from the University of New Orleans in 1998 where he was a jazz piano student of the legendary Ellis Marsalis and in 1992 Charlie earned his Bachelors Degree in Music Media and Industry from the esteemed University of Miami.
Some of Charlie’s compositions can be heard on Stanton Moore’s instructional DVD entitled “Take it to the Street” (’05) as well as Moore’s CD entitled “Flyin’ the Koop” (‘02). Dennard also composed the music for the Brazilian acrobatic circus “Universo Casuo” produced and directed by his former Cirque du Soleil colleague Marcos Casuo (’08). Other recording credits include the Birmingham Metropolitan Orchestra, Charles and Ian Neville (Neville Brothers), Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa), Cleve Eaton (Count Basie), Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers) and Steve Masakowski.
While living in New Orleans (’96-’02) Charlie had the distinct honor of performing with jazz masters Jason and Delfeayo Marsalis, Nicolas Payton, Kermit Ruffins, Nancy King, Johnny Vidacovich and Ed Peterson as well as the more funk influenced musicians such as George Porter, G Love and Special Sauce, Galactic, Skerik and Charlie Hunter. During this time Charlie was also an integral member of several prominent award-winning ensembles such as the New World Funk Ensemble, Quintology, Michael Ray and the Cosmic Krewe, Stanton Moore and Theresa Andersson.
Known for his diversity of music and passion for performing, Charlie Dennard continues to be involved with creative projects that highlight his immaculate sense of time, sensual harmony and flowing improvisation.
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