A native of Carbondale, Pennsylvania, guitarist, composer, arranger, author, and educator Dale Bruning spent time living, working and recording in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York during the 1940s and 1950s. During his tenure in the United States Navy from 1953-57, he was a guitarist and arranger, and when called upon, he also played piano, bass, vibes, and percussion.
Upon his release in 1957, he studied at Temple University, declaring and graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. He took as many music classes as he could. Concurrently, he studied music and guitar with world renowned educator Dennis Sandole.
In 1961, Mr. Bruning became the leader of the house band for The Del Shields Show, a television variety program that originated from Philadelphia on WRCV, an NBC affiliate. In 1964, he and his family moved to Denver.
An accident in 1988 nearly ended Mr. Bruning's career as a performing musician. While securing a window pane in the rubbish can, a piece of glass broke and slashed a deep cut across his left wrist. His median nerve to the fingers and the thumb tendon were badly cut. Dr. Charles Hamlin rebuilt the sheath around the nerve, enabling it to regenerate itself.
After this tragedy, his commitment to playing was fueled by his deep passion for the music and his own acts of courage every time he picked up the guitar to practice, knowing the pain would be excruciating. His valor during the slow rehabilitative process was rewarded, however, as he has become an even stronger performer than prior to the accident. Considering that he has little feeling in one finger, he amazes audiences with his ability and agility on the fingerboard.
His prowess as a performer is equaled by his talent in composing, arranging and teaching. During his 45 plus years of private teaching, he has expressed the joy of jazz to more than 1000 students, many of whom went on to become professional musicians. Among those include Bill Frisell, Mark Patterson, Bob Gillis, Tim O'Brien, Pat Donohue, and Mark Simon.
He has been featured in such prestigious magazines as 20th Century Guitar and Just Jazz Guitar, with superb CD reviews found in JazzTimes, Jazz Journal of England, Guitar Player, Cadence, Jazzscene of Oregon, The Denver Post, The Oregonian, The Omaha Herald, 20th Century Guitar, Western Austraila Guitar Socierty newsletter, Berman Foundation newsletter and Just Jazz Guitar.
He is also an entrant in The Jazz Guitar book by Maurice J. Summerfield, Ashley Mark Publishing Company, © 1998, United Kingdom.
In 1996, he and his business partner, writer/concert & CD producer Jude Hibler, began their Jazz Link Enterprises CD label by coproducing The Dale Bruning Quartet: Tomorrow's Reflections (JLECD-44001). He has since recorded Conference Call with Michael Moore (JLECD-44002); Reunion with Bill Frisell (JLECD-40072), and is heard on Live! at Sherman's Coffee House (JLECD-44003) with Rich Chiaraluce on reeds/leader and Kenny Walker on bass.
On the 2002 JLE release, The Timeless Music of Harold Arlen, Bruning's Quartet features Michael Moore, bass; Rich Chiaraluce, reeds; and Paul Romaine, drums. Partner Hibler is the Narrator and is also heard on this recording.
The Timeless Music of Harry Warren CD finds The More I See You, Jeepers Creepers, I Had the Craziest Dream and so many other hits from the 1930s-1950s on this recording.
His 2005 release, Easy Does It! The Music of Charles Eakin features himself, Rich Chiaraluce, Mark Simon, and Paul Romaine.
In 2006, Music of Gershwin, By George! is his latest recording. This CD on the JLE label includes pianist Jeff Jenkins, bassist Mark Simon, and drummer Paul Romaine. Dale arranged all of the music and is the leader/guitarist.
His other CDs include Music of Gershwin, By George! - Dale Bruning Quartet, Classical Connections, Vol I: with Ali Ryerson
and Classical Connections, Vol II: with Ali Ryerson
Also in 2006, he was the honoree of The Dale Bruning Celebration Day - a four hour tribute to him and his accomplishments in music and in his personal life as being one of the major influences in the jazz world throughout the world. More than 350 people attended this time of recognition, including Bill Frisell and Gene Bertoncini.
In 1997, Bruning authored his first book: The Dale Bruning Jazz Guitar Series, Volume I: Phrasing and Articulation (© 1997, Jazz Link Enterprises Publishers). His Vol II book - The Dale Bruning Jazz Guitar Series, Volume II: Phrasing and Arpeggios (© 2010, (Jazz Link Enterprises Publishers) is available at this website. In 2014, this third book was published titled The Dale Bruning Jazz Guitar Series, Volume III: Phasing: Scales & Intervals.
Thanks for the Memory…Jim Hall is a double-CD as a tribute to the late Jim Hall. On the JLE label, this incredible release in January, 2015 of The Dale Bruning Sextet, includes Bill Frisell, Ron Miles, Mark Patterson, Mark Simon, and Paul Romaine.
Mr. Bruning lives in Longmont, Colorado.
by Jude Hibler
Selected Performance Locations
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Cuba
Selected Performances with Jim Hall, Red Norvo, Dizzy Gillespie, Specs Wright, Marian McPartland, Erroll Garner, Dave McKenna, Michael Moore, Matt Wilson, Al Grey, Odean Pope, Buddy Montgomery, Richard Grossman, Dick Cary, Morey Feld, Peanuts Hucko, Bobby Shew, Joni Janak, Carol Sloane, Billy Bean, Spike Robinson, Carl Fontana, Slide Hampton, Buddy DeFranco, Gus Johnson, Derryl Goes, Johnny Smith, Art Van Damme, Jake Hanna, Ellyn Rucker, Lew Tabackin, Eric Gunnison, Ron Miles, Ralph Sutton, Chet Baker, Phil Urso, Bob Gillis, Bill Frisell, Nancy Wilson, Ethel Ennis, Marion Montgomery, Mark Simon, Paul Romaine, Arthur Harper, Bruno Carr, Ron Washington
• 1986: Jazz Guitarist-of-Note: The prestigious International Guitar Week, Denver University
Frequent leader/performer for the Young Audience Series, Denver
• 1996: Featured Guest Artist, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine
• 1997: Longmont Jazz Festival, Longmont, CO. Headliner & leader of quartet.
• 1998: Dale Bruning & Michael Moore Duo Concert, Longmont, CO. Private Music Educator
• 2001-2004: Summit Jazz Foundation Swingin' Jazz Concerts with Ken Peplowski, Rickey Woodard, Barbara Morrison; Jon-Erik Kellso; Paul Keller; John Allred; John Sheridan; Don Grove
• 2002-2004: The Timeless Music of Duke Ellington; Vernon Duke; Jimmy Van Heusen; Jerome Kern" Concerts with Jude Hibler, Narrator
• 2005-2011: The Timeless Music of Jerome Kern with emphasis on Show Boat; Johnny Mercer; Vernon Duke; Jule Styne; Dale Bruning
• 2012: Dale Bruning Trio with Special Guests Michael Moore and Bill Frisell. Double CD recorded titled Just Between Us.
More than five decades, teaching approximately 1800 students. Some notable students include Bill Frisell, Mark Patterson, Margaret Slovak, Tim O'Brien, Mark Simon, and Pat Donohue
Educator in Guitar Departments
The University of Northern Colorado, Greeley in early 1970s
The University of Colorado, Denver in late 1970s