Allen Dennard is a trumpeter, composer, recording artist, bandleader and activist who was born and raised in the city of Detroit, Michigan. At the age of 9 Allen decided to join his elementary school's band, John Trix Elementary. From then on he never put the trumpet down, finding a whole new passion for instrumental music. In 5th grade Allen was introduced to jazz, but his understanding and liking toward it was not yet found. Throughout middle school Allen decided to stop playing jazz and took up classical music instead. Little did he know that in the near future he'd come to find himself feeling restricted while playing classical music. Throughout high school, (Detroit School of Arts), he still chose to play classically, but around the 10th grade he decided to dive back into jazz. From then on he chose jazz as his musical style. He began to study players such as Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, Woody Shaw, Lee Morgan, and Roy Hargrove just to name a few. Around his senior year of high school Allen had the privilege of being mentored by the great Marcus Belgrave, one of Detroit's own legendary trumpeters and educators. Since then, Allen's involvement in jazz increased exponentially.
After high school, Allen attended the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor where he received a full ride from the university's jazz department and received his Bachelors Degree in Jazz Studies. From then on he obtained other pivotal opportunities that would further him in his musical career. In January 2019 Allen was chosen by the Detroit MetroTimes as one of ten artist they thought would become famous in that year. Soon after that Allen was approached with many interview requests, one being with Detroit Public Television/ PBS and the other being with Honeysuckle Magazine, a New York City based magazine company. Aside from that Allen has worked with several artist from the Detroit Music Factory label, such as Gayelynn Mckinney, De'Sean Jones and Sean Dobbins. He has also worked with Detroit saxophonist David McMurray from the Blue Note record label. Adding to that, Allen also got the opportunity to share the stage with New York based saxophonist J.D Allen, who is with HighNote Records. Allen has made five appearances as a sideman in the Detroit Jazz Festival: Wendell Harrison (2015), Detroit bassist Ali Bey (2017), the Detroit Jazz Festival All-Star Alumini Band (2019), David McMurray (2020), and the Keyon Harold Big Band (2021). In 2022 Dennard was chosen to be a headliner at the Detroit Jazz Festival, showcasing his group "The Allen Dennard Quintet".
In October 2018 Allen had the opportunity to work with famous R&B artist Ray J, being a member of the pit orchestra in a play that Ray J was in. In the same year Allen was chosen to be in the horn section for the MC5 reunion in Detroit, sharing the stage with musical icons such as Wayne Kramer. Following after that, Allen went on to record on one of Alice Copper's latest albums in 2019 called "Breadcrumbs". He has also traveled with world renown R&B singer K'Jon in the same year, who is also born and raised in Detroit, MI. In 2022 Dennard was called to play with the great saxophonist Mike Phillips at the Aretha Franklin Ampitheater in Detroit, MI. Following that year, in 2023 Dennard had the privilege to share the stage and play behind hip hop legends such as Phat Kat, Elzi, Jessica Care Moore, and Dwele. He also was able to share the band stand with Jazz at Lincoln Center saxophonist Walter Blanding. In the comedian scene, Allen received the opportunity to play behind famous stand up comedian Rickey Smiley at Orchestra Hall in Detroit, MI. In July of that same year, Allen was rewarded with a Preservation of Jazz Excellence Award from the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan for "Best Spirit".
In 2020, Dennard was heavily involved with the global Black Lives Matter movement that spurred from the murder of a 46-year-old black male by the name of George Floyd. Dennard chose to join the Detroit political organization "Detroit Will Breathe" to further his involvement in the struggle within the city of Detroit. Allen has received many accolades as a result of his decision to join DWB, stretching from being mentioned in the Detroit Free Press and Detroit Metro Times all the way to mentions in the world news outlet The Guardian. His roles in activism has molded him into becoming a true leader on and off the bandstand.
Dennard has released two recorded projects as a band leader in his musical career thus-far, one being his debut project "Stepping In" which was released in 2018, and the other being his debut album "Flashback" which was released in 2022. Allen has three of his own groups, the Allen Dennard Trio, the Allen Dennard Quartet and the Allen Dennard Quintet. All groups have been headliners in venues around Detroit, Metro-Detroit and the entire state of Michigan. A small list of these venues include Baker's Keyboard Lounge, Cliff Bell's, The Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe, GR Noir, The Blue Llama, Bert's Marketplace and The Whisky Parlor. He has also been the headliner for several local festivals around Detroit and metro Detroit, such as the Ann Arbor Jazz Festival, the Ypsilanti Jazz Festival, Jazzin' at the Vanity Music Festival, Jazz on the Ave' Music Festival, the Michigan Jazz Festival, and the African World Festival held at the Charles H. Wright Museum. Dennard has traveled around the nation to play in cities such as Chicago, Los Angelos, Reno, Kansas City, and New York City, being a sideman for the Nick Master's Quartet at Mezzrow Jazz Club, Smalls Jazz Club, and Ornithology in Brooklyn, NY. The Allen Dennard Quartet has also performed around the Midwest to areas such as Toldeo, OH, headlining at venues such as Lucille's Jazz Lounge and festivals such as the Great Lakes Jazz Festival. Allen's music is a mixture of jazz, contemporary, house, hip hop, and funk. Allen still resides in Detroit, focusing on furthering his musical career in the local, national and international music scene.