Amy Denio (rhymes with ‘Ohio’) is an award-winning Seattle-based singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, improviser, record producer and recording engineer. She founded Spoot Music, her record label and publishing company in 1986, and has composed, recorded and produced almost 300 compositions, released dozens of solo and collaborative recordings on Spoot and other record labels from America and Europe.
In 2015, she was elected to the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame by Earshot Jazz. She has received Artistic Fellowships from Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission, Civitella Ranieri, and was in residence at Mills College to teach song writing. She received the Mayor’s Award in Seattle in 1990 for her artistic vision.
Principally a self-taught musician (her parents both played jazz bass), her main instruments are voice, accordion, alto sax, clarinet, electric guitar, bass, found sound, and theremin.
Since 1988 she has collaborated with international musicians at festivals, churches, schools, prisons and mercury mines throughout East & West Europe and North America, as well as in Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, India, Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina.
Denio is a seminal figure in the ‘home-taper’ culture from the 1980’s, and produces songs and soundscapes in her Spaciouser Spoot Studios. She’s been commissioned by Berkeley Symphony, Italian National Radio, New York Festival of Song, Relache Ensemble, and dozens of modern dance choreographers, theater companies, film makers and radio. These works have been seen and heard at Carnegie Hall, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Seattle Opera House, Detroit Institute of Art, Venice Biennale, Roman Theater Trieste, and on top of 3 Metro Busses in Seattle.
Her piece ‘Dishwasher’ was included in the John Cage exhibit at the 1993 Venice Biennale.
In 1997 she won the prestigious New York City ‘Bessie’ Award for her ‘Sky Down,’ soundtrack
commissioned by David Dorfman Dance. She has scored several award-winning animated films by Thomas Edward. In 2003 she composed the soundtrack for the feature film ‘Naked Proof’, which premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival, and was claimed ‘Best Undistributed Film’ by the Village Voice (NYC).
She is a founding member of The Entropics, The Tiptons Sax Quartet, Tone Dogs, (ec) Nudes FoMoFloThe Danubians, Petunia, Quintetto alla Busara, Die Resonanz, and the accordion quartet Hell’s Bellows! (US). She has played in Bosnian group Kultur Shock since 1999.
In February 2014 she presented her compositions at the Teatro Municipal and Thelonius Club
in La Paz, Bolivia in collaboration with excellent local musicians.
She has taught creative music workshops in universities, youth and art centers and prisons in Italy, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Bolivia and throughout North America.
In 1997 Denio was sponsored to study North Indian singing in Mumbai with master singer Dhanashree Pandit Rai.
In addition, she is a photographer and documentary film maker, and recently created an interactive public ‘Sonic Bench’, now on permanent exhibit on Vashon Island, Washington.
Denio has received grants and fellowships from NEA, Meet The Composer, King County Arts Commission, 4Culture, Washington State Arts Commission, Arts Link, Pew Charitable Trust, Arts International, and from various philanthropists.