Denin Koch

Program Graduation: Jazz and Contemporary Media, ALP Certificate 2020
Musical Studies: Guitar
Musical Specialties: Education, Jazz


Having been praised as possessing “pristine playing, meticulous composing” and “a very personal voice deserving of attention,” award-winning guitarist, composer, and educator, Denin Slage-Koch has done a lot. He’s played and recorded with artists like Ryan Keberle, Shane Endsley, Carmen Bradford, Clay Jenkins, Brad Goode, Wycliffe Gordon, and the Colorado Symphony, written music for artists like Melissa Aldana and Carmen Bradford, recorded three albums of original music and served as sideman for many more, published a book, and is a full-time member of the jazz faculty at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. As a guitarist, Slage-Koch’s accolades include a multiple Downbeat Student Music Awards, a 2022 Pathways to Jazz grant award, and performances at venues including the national Jazz Education Network conference, Vail Jazz, Boettcher Concert Hall, and Dazzle Denver, among many others. His debut album, “re: manhattan project,” is a ten-movement suite for jazz quintet that reimagines the story of the Manhattan Project, which Slage-Koch’s hometown of Richland, WA was deeply involved in. “re: manhattan project,” received a four-star rating on and has been praised as “remarkable,” “extraordinary, “moving” and containing “beautiful interplay.” Slage-Koch is also frequently in-demand as a composer and arranger for artists and ensembles across the United States. In 2023, he received a Herb Alpert Young Composer’s award for his piece “It Comes in Waves,” and in 2022 his composition “One for Honey” was recognized as an honorable mention at the Ithaca College Jazz Composition Contest against entries from 15 countries.  Slage-Koch holds a Doctor of Arts in Jazz Studies from the University of Northern Colorado, and has also received a Master of Music in Jazz and Contemporary Media from the Eastman School of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies from Whitworth University.