After receiving his first harmonica as a gift from a family friend while in his teens, he had heard his first blues record and his life was never the same! Having been in New Orleans during 1992-3, Dennis came back home to the Garden State of NJ and quickly gained a reputation as a young rising star on the local blues scene working in a couple different local blues bands.I
In 1998 he started to form his own local “all-star” band, using members pulled from other regional bands (including the great saxophonist Joel Frahm). Ever since his self-titled debut with that band (“Dennis Gruenling & Jump Time!“) hit the streets in 1999, Dennis has pulled in countless fans and numerous accolades from critics & musicians around the world for his swinging, highly original harmonica sound and style. Taking equal parts from the harmonica and swing/saxophone traditions and styles, Dennis has pushed the boundaries further for the sound of blues harmonica, while in the meantime pioneering a whole new sound and direction for the harmonica.
Through the years, Gruenling has shared the stage with many top names in the blues & roots world, such as Pinetop Perkins, Snooky Pryor, Homesick James, Nappy Brown, John Mayall, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, Little Sammy Davis, A.C. Reed, Mick Taylor, and Jimmy Dawkins, as well as contemporary blues masters such as Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers, Rick Estrin/Little Charlie & The Nightcats, Kim Wilson, Rusty Zinn, Steve Guyger, Greg Piccolo, and Mark Hummel.
Teaching blues harmonica has also been an interest and passion for Dennis, and he is in demand as a private instructor and as part of numerous harmonica workshops and conventions that appear across the country (and around the globe). Dennis has been published in Real Blues Magazine, in the American Harmonica Newsletter, and also hosts his own blues & roots radio show on WFDU (Teaneck, NJ/NYC metro) every Thursday afternoon entitled “Blues & the Beat”.
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…from “I Just Keep Lovin’ Him – a Tribute to Little Walter”
…from “That’s Right!”
…from “Up All Night”
- Turning Point (NY)
- BB King’s (NY)
- Towne Crier (NY)
- Chicago Blues Festival (IL)
- LowCountry Blues Bash (SC)
- Blind Willie’s (GA)
- Black-Eyed Sally’s (CT)
- Red Bank Jazz & Blues Fest (NJ)
- Six Flags Brews, Blues & BBQ’s
- Bradfordville Blues Club (FL)
- Natch’el Blues Festival (VA)
- …and MANY MORE….