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KJ Denhert: Closer to the Melody

Singer/songwriter/guitarist mixes interesting covers and a few originals on her latest Album No. 9

KJ Denhert
KJ Denhert's Album No. 9

Singer/songwriter KJ Denhert is talking about all the reasons that her new album for Motema, Album No. 9, had to have that title, besides the obvious one, this being her ninth album as a leader. She mentions that she saw the check she wrote was numbered 909 and that there are nine songs and that her name has nine letters and … I tell her she’s starting to sound like a exile from Lost. She laughs and admits that this talk of “nines” may be too much, or at least too much for me to absorb. And she readily agrees to talk about her life in music and leave the numerology to Hurley and company.

Denhert was born Karen Jeanne to parents from Grenada. Introduced to playing music at a young age by her brother, Denhert taught herself to play guitar and sing without any formal music education. During the ’80s, Denhert toured for six years as the lead guitarist and occasional vocalist with an all-female band called Fire, playing rock and top-40 music. After the group broke up, she got a day job and for many years balanced both her career as a financial analyst and her life as a working and recording musician. Initially, Denhert was a fixture on the folk scene, but her jazz leanings have become more and more pronounced.

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