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Hey Y'all!! My name is Tenia Nelson, and I live, eat, and breathe music!!


As a LifeForce Jazz Records artist, pianist, percussionist, composer and arranger, and educator, I have 20 years (plus) teaching experience in ALL levels of education (Early Childhood through University). At the present time, I teach privately in my music studio,  teach classes at Neighborhood Music at Stanley Marketplace and I also mentor future musicians through GRAMMY U.


I received my Bachelors of Music Education Degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2004, and My Masters of Music Degree (Jazz Studies) from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2010. I am a board member of The Gift of Jazz organization, a non-profit based in Denver, which actively supports jazz performance in the Rocky Mountain region, in particular, to ensure that jazz remains a creative force in Colorado. I am also a very proud and active member of the Recording Academy.

In addition to teaching, I perform regularly at jazz venues in the Denver metro area, including Dazzle at Baur’s and Nocturne. I am a freelance music artist and play all types of music! I co-lead a well-known Denver-based jazz group, Spherio, which focuses on arranging and playing the music of Thelonious Sphere Monk (Tenia Nelson, keys; Brendan O' Donoghue, bass; and Andreas Schmid, drums). I also lead a group called Tenia Nelson Trio (Tenia Nelson, keys; Brendan O' Donoghue, bass; Alex Tripp, drums). In addition, as a freelance music artist, I play all types of music. One example would be playing with Jon Romero and the Taco Cats(Latin Jazz/Funk/Rock). I have played with Dianne Reeves, Ron Miles, Tia Fuller, Hugh Ragin, Kenny Walker, Brad Goode, Rico Jones, Gabe Mervine, Greg Harris, Greg Gisbert and Adam Deitch to name a few. Most recently, Denver’s premiere jazz radio station KUVO (declared one of the best jazz radio stations in the world) featured my music and Spherio!


Denver, Colorado, is a city with long-standing, well-supported jazz traditions, from visits by jazz greats in the 30s and 40s in the historic Five Points area, to the current day. As such, this provides me with unique opportunities to perform with an array of awesome local and international musicians, which serves to further my growth as a jazz musician.


I currently live in Denver, Colorado, with my family (my husband Tim, son, Thelonious, and dog Snowball).

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