Remembering Dennis Gonzalez

August 15, 1954 – March 15, 2022

 

A tribute to the adventurous trumpeter

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Trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez passed away on March 15, 2022 at the age of 67.

He was born on Aug. 15, 1954 in Abilene, Texas and was based in the Dallas area throughout his career.

Inspired by Chicago’s AACM, Gonzalez founded the Dallas Association for Avant-Garde and Neo Impressionistic Music (better known as Daagnim) which became both an organization and his main record label.

Gonzalez explored adventurous music throughout his career, an accessible blend of the avant-garde and hard bop; in addition to the trumpet he also occasionally played drums, flute, baritone sax, and synthesizer.

Gonzalez, who recorded often for Daagnim, also made some rewarding albums for the Silkheart, Konnex Clean Feed, and Ayler labels, persuaded both saxophonist Charles Brackeen (who he often performed with) and bassist Henry Grimes to return to active playing, and hosted the radio program Music Out at KERA for 21 years.

In his later years, Gonzalez led the trio Yells at Eels which included his sons bassist Aaron and drummer Stefan Gonzalez.

Here is Dennis Gonzalez in 2018 performing his original “Namesake” with keyboardist Ataraxia, Jagath Lapriya on tablas, and bassist Drew Phillips.

-Scott Yanow

 

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