Music

Connecting spiritually to our ancestors through our songs.

Jenny and Dennis Shorty

Dena Zagi – the voice of the people

Dennis Shorty began writing and composing songs in his language, Kaska, in 2009. In that same year, Dennis created Dena Zagi with Jennifer Frohling. Jenny is originally from Germany and is Dennis’ partner. Together they created the band Dena Zagi, which means “people’s voice”, and is written in the Kaska language. It combines both of their talents to create a traditional contemporary duo. Dennis is singer, songwriter and guitarist, while Jenny is a singer, plays a traditional drum and drum set, as well as a First Nation flute. Their lyrics are about the land, animals, respect, ancestors and traditions. They’ve played together in various venues in Canada and Germany, and hope to encourage young people to preserve their language through music. In 2016 they received a grant from Yukon Film and Sound Commission to record a demo. Their album Gucho Hin was nominated in 2018 for the IMA in Winnipeg and CFMA in Calgary. 

Carving is energy. Drumming is energy. Through my art and my songs I want to make people feel that energy.

Dennis Shorty

Performances

  • Showcase with full band – The Yukon Arts Centre in Whitehorse

  • 4 x school performances at The Yukon Arts Centre

  • “Not close but personal” – concert series, The Yukon Arts Centre

  • Canada Day virtual video

  • Mentorship with CESO, Toronto

  • Professional music training sponsored by APTN, Toronto

  • AFN event for climate change at KDCC, Whitehorse

  • Mentored youth to perform at Skookum Jim Folklore Show, Whitehorse

  • Yukon for Community School Touring Program, Dawson City, Mayo, Pelly Crossing, Haines Junction, D-Bay and Beaver Creek

  • YukonNight, Vancouver B.C.

  • Breakout West, Whitehorse

  • APTN performance for Indigenous Day, Whitehorse

  • Atlin Arts and Music Festival, BC

  • Athabasca Tribal Council Health and Wellness Conference, Fort McMurray/ Alberta

  • Yukon Night, Yukon Chamber of Mines, Vancouver

  • Nominees Album Gucho Hin – Canadian Folk Music Awards, Calgary

  • Nominees Album Gucho Hin – Indigenous Music Award, Winnipeg

  • ADAKA Festival, Whitehorse

  • Dawson City Music Festival, Yukon

  • Acting in German movie “River of Live, Yukon”, Dawson City

  • Visual and performing art, Germany

  •  Skookum Jim Folklore Festival, Yukon

  • Skookum Jim Folklore Show, Yukon

  • ADAKA Cultural Festival, Yukon

  • Aboriginal Day, Mayo, Y.T.

  • Published first Kaska language music album CD – GUCHO HIN

  • Haa Kusteeyi Celebration, Teslin Y.T.

  • Dena Zagi in Germany, Luckenwalde

  • Part of the “Journey to ADAKA” Documentary, Yukon. This film won “ People Choice Award ” in February 2018

  • IPAA, Haines Junction, YT

  • Collaboration show at Yukon Arts Centre for CANDO conference, Whitehorse, YT

  • Adäka Cultural Festival, Whitehorse, YT

  • Moose Hide Gathering, Dawson City, YT

  • Arts in The Park, Whitehorse, YT

  • Arts Up Front, Whitehorse, YT

  • Slideshow and presentation, Garrey, Germany

  • ACAD Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Calgary, AB

  • Shurniak Gallery, Assiniboia, SK

  • Solo Art Exhibition at “ Caribou Shadow”, Arts Underground Gallery, Whitehorse, YT

  • Family Week, Ross River, YT

  • Art presentation and workshops – Culture Week, Mayo, YT

  • Adäka Cultural Festival, Whitehorse, YT

  • Moose Hide Gathering , Dawson City, YT

  • Kwanlin Dun First Nations Women’s Day Fair, Whitehorse, YT

  • Workshops at Myth and Medium Conference, Dawson City, YT

  • Skookum Jim Folklore Show, Yukon Arts Centre, Whitehorse, YT

  • Performing artist with Kaska Dena Drummers at Northern Scene Arts Festival, Ottawa, ON
  • Adäka Cultural Festival, Whitehorse, YT

  • IPY 2012 Conference, Montreal, QC

  • “Connection“ Arts Underground Gallery, Whitehorse, YT

  • Cultural Exchange, Coffee Lake, Ross River, YT

  • Adäka Cultural Festival, Whitehorse, YT

  • “Mixed Media”, Koenig’s, Wusterhausen, Germany

  • Karl May Festtage, Radebeul, Germany

  • “Mixed Media”, Dresden, Germany

  • “In allem steckt ein Geist”, Luckenwalde, Germany

Awards & Grants

  • ITAC to create a new website
  • Yukon Film and Sound Commission grant for a demo
  • “Outstanding Performance” at Adäka Cultural Festival
  • Award for “Extraordinary Accomplishment” at Adäka Cultural Festival
  • “Yukon Tourism Champion Award “ from Yukon Government

Testimonials

Atlin Arts and Music Festival, 2019

Dena Zagi – full band performance.

Music Gallery

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Art

View work by Dennis Shorty

Music

Learn about the music of Dena Zagi

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Workshops

Participate in workshops by Dennis Shorty

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HomeStay

Stay in Ross River

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