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Origin:  Toronto, ON

Genres:  Jazz, Instrumental


Years Active:  2009 - Present

Label:  444 Records


Short Bio

Toronto based guitarist Adrian Dennis makes a formidable impression with his impressive debut album “Moon Rising”. Featuring seven original compositions by Adrian; the album explores a wide pallet of musical textures, intricate harmonic landscapes and highlight his developed melodic voice as a composer and improviser. The seven compositions offer a unique perspective on current modern jazz executed flawlessly by Adrian’s quartet.

After studying in the jazz program at the University of Toronto, Adrian enlisted the help of long-time collaborators; saxophonist Matt Woroshyl, bassist Malcolm Connor, and drummer Mark Ballyk to perform his exiting original work, with their first performance together being in August of 2013. Years later, their debut album has arrived, marking Adrian as a fresh new voice on the Toronto jazz scene. The album will be released on (N/A) followed by a CD release performance at the Jazz Bistro.


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Track Listing:

1. Moon Rising (6:39)
2. The Archer (6:42)
3. Whale Calls (5:56)
4. New Blues (4:04)
5. Convergence (8:33)
6. Arvantis (6:32)
7. The Pioneers (8:47)


All compositions by Adrian Dennis

File under: Jazz


Adrian Dennis




Moon Rising Review By Leonid AUSKERN -

The debut album is always a responsible stage for any musician. Someone records their first album just after stepping on the professional path, Someone goes to it for a long time. For the Canadian guitarist and composer from Toronto, Adrian Dennis, the second option is more characteristic, 

"For his debut, it is not an impulsive, hastily put together project, but a kind of milestone that marks the end of one stage of creativity and a significant transition to a new one."

Dennis received a professional education at the University of Toronto, where he entered in 2008. Five years later, together with his fellow students - saxophonist Matt Woroshyl, double bassist Malcolm Connor and drummer Mark Ballyk - he organized a quartet, the composition of which has not changed for ten years and testifies to the strength of creative ties and mutual understanding of musicians. They performed a lot in Toronto and its surroundings, gaining a certain fame on the local jazz scene. The first album was recorded only in early December 2022 (the pandemic also played a role here), when in one of the Toronto studios the musicians recorded Moon Rising, consisting entirely of compositions by the quartet leader, Adrian Dennis.

The seven compositions of this purely acoustic album give a fairly complete idea of the sphere of Adrian's creative interests. His quartet plays a characteristic post-bop mainstream, and as a guitarist, I think Dennis reminds me of the late jazz guitar classic Jim Hall: he also prefers not the highest tempo, not a race for the number of notes per unit of time, but a strict clean sound without external effects, but with deep inner content. Much of the group's sound is based on the dialogue of the guitar and saxophone with a precise and flexible background from the rhythm group. I don't know what the ratio of pre-composed music and improvisation is in the playing of musicians, but, as it seemed to me,

"Adrian Dennis leaves his partners enough space and freedom for self-expression. Such compositions as the title Moon Rising, New Blues or The Pioneers with a long guitar intro from the leader of the quartet leave a very pleasant impression."




Not a beginner, but a fully mature and experienced musician is taking a new and confident step in his career.



© & (p) 2023 7 tks / 47 mins


(Adrian Dennis – g; Matt Woroshyl – sax; Malcolm Connor – b; Mark Ballyk – dr;)


Moon Rising Review By
Thierry De Clemensat -

Listening to this album, I primarily consider Adrian Dennis as a composer. Indeed, the guitar is one element among the other musicians (Matt Woroshyl: saxophone, Malcolm Connor: bass, Mark Ballyk: drums) on these original compositions that are truly fascinating. “Moon Rising” features seven original compositions by Adrian Dennis, and the album explores a wide range of musical textures and complex harmonic landscapes. It highlights his developed melodic voice as a composer and improviser. The seven compositions offer a unique perspective on contemporary modern jazz, flawlessly performed by Adrian’s quartet.

Let’s not attempt to compare Adrian Dennis with another musician or composer; he has his own universe that hovers between intellectualism and poetry. At times, on certain themes, we could even speak of a genuine philosophical work if we try to connect the titles of this album and their atmospheres. Take a moment to listen deeply, with each instrument being a character here. It’s up to you to dream them, make them your own, and apply the faces and settings that these compositions inspire.

All the musicians on this album are impressive, true to their approach and vision.


" This group has a special aura, the kind you find in musicians with extensive stage experience and encounters with other great artists. There’s also a cultural aspect to Adrian Dennis’s music. "


High-level jazz always has a distinct footprint, and one can usually tell whether it’s European, American, or Canadian jazz. It’s likely that the landscapes and sounds that surround us in childhood leave a lasting mark.
This is not easy jazz; it’s complex jazz. However, it doesn’t forget that it needs to intellectually engage a diverse audience.


"Those who listen deeply to this album will find just as much enjoyment as newcomers. It’s one of the most beautiful albums I’ve heard this year, inspiring because it’s different. "


It’s not trying to please or be just another musical calling card for playing on various stages. Here, artistic integrity takes precedence, a rule that the editorial teams of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris – Move respectfully acknowledge by affixing their “Essential” sticker.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, September 10th 2023

Moon Rising Review By David Reed - The Belleville Intelligencer


Adrian Dennis  -  Moon Rising

(Independent, 2023)

"Toronto-based guitarist Adrian Dennis gives us a striking debut album containing seven original compositions filled with thoughtful melodies and compelling harmonic shifts. His delicate touch on the guitar is matched by his inventive compositions, and the performances with his quartet breathe gentle life into the music. Highlights include Convergence, The Archer, Whale Calls and the shimmering title track.."


- Belleville Intelligencer


Moon Rising Review - Take Effect

"The esteemed Toronto guitarist and composer Adrian Dennis is aligned with Mark Ballyk, Matt Woroshyl and Malcolm Connor for these 7 originals that are as creative as they are harmonic. Dennis’ warm guitar populates the intimate and exploratory title track, which opens the listen with Ballyk’s fluid drumming, and “The Archer” follows with Connor’s strategic bass plucking making for an inviting lead into the soulful sax from Woroshyl.


- Take Effect Music Reviews






Album Release Party TBA...




Set List

Tech Rider

Label: 444 Records






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