In the early 1980's she was a secret known only to insiders on the Munich jazz scene: 15-year-old Barbara Dennerlein, captivating an enthusiastic audience with impressive wit and skill as she whirled her fingers over the B3 Hammond organ -- an instrument often derided and associated with the dusty patina of bar jazz. But what this pert, unaffected teenager performed was pure jazz. Jazz at its best, ranging from swing to bebop, from blues to funk. And many a local jazz celebrity competed to appear on stage together with this prodigy. Yet despite all this enthusiasm, scarcely anyone could have imagined that this young lady would become Germany's successful jazz export, and go on to win Downbeat's "Critics' Poll" five times. Without doubt she can claim that she has paved the way for the organ's current renaissance in jazz. Above all, she is one of the very few organists who play a pedal bass, and is surely unequalled for her breathtaking technique.
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