Dena Kay Jones has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and in Spain, Italy, France, Mexico, and Canada. She is a frequent performer at venues within the El Paso, Texas vicinity and is piano faculty and artist at the Orfeo Music Festival of Vipiteno, Italy. In addition to maintaining a widely varied repertoire from the standard piano literature, Dr. Jones has focused her energies on performance and research of the Spanish piano repertoire. Her interest in this music has led her to lesser-known works written from 1923-1987 by composer Joaquin Rodrigo. She is sought out for her work, opinions, and interpretations of this specific musical canon. In addition, a partial contribution as collaborative pianist with Celeste Shearer (horn) and Jim Shearer (tuba) blossomed into “The Great American Trio,” a chamber group that promotes commissioned works for this instrumentation. This group has received favorable acclaim nationally and internationally, with upcoming ventures for performance of new, American compositions along with other great classical works for low brass and piano. Additional collaborative projects included two programs highlighting women composers: “Women’s Work” and “Gomezanda and Grever: 20th Century Mexican Song,” were embraced with recording projects and invitations for performance. This topic has sparked a new interest, especially within her teaching. She is now assigning piano works by women composers to her students with frequency.
In August of 2002, Dena Kay Jones joined the music faculty of the University of Texas at El Paso, where she is professor of applied piano, chamber music studies and class piano for music majors. Her UTEP students have auditioned, competed, and performed — winning accolades, further study, and employment at numerous venues throughout the world. Within her twentieth year as piano professor at UTEP, she feels an overwhelmingly strong connection to this community, "The opportunities are limitless," she says.