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Denise José (Yo-say) Kirkland was born on December 21, in Washington, D.C. She attended high school in Florence, S.C., where she performed in plays and musical theatre. She was a cheerleader and sang in school and church choirs. She took ballet, jazz and modern dance classes and studied piano. Her favorite character to play is Jackie “Moms” Mabley. She is creating a role for Ma Rainey Vinvent Kee’s musical “Sonny’s Place”. Denise began singing, professionally at 30. Her influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Abbey Lincoln, Billie Holiday, Nancy Wilson, Sarah Vaughn, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and other great jazz legends. In 2006, she moved from Philadelphia to Atlanta, where she sings in jazz and blues clubs, restaurants and with an R&B band. She is a songwriter and wrote lyrics and music for nine songs on her debut CD “Progressive Groove”, now in production. She writes jazz, blues, R&B, Southern soul, gospel and country songs for other artists! DJ say, “No matter what your obstacles, you have the will or can learn the skills necessary to create your own beautiful quality of life.”

Website: www.denisekirkland.com