Guitarist and composer, DeChown Jenkins, is one of Detroit's natives and refreshing young artists on the music scene today. Detroit has been known for many years for its great musicians including artist such as Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Thomas Whitfield, Anita Baker, Ron Carter, Hank Jones, James Carter and Geri Allen to name a few. Needless to say, DeChown Jenkins carries on the tradition.
In the quest to carry on the tradition in the music industry, DeChown moved to New York City at 18 to pursue his dreams of becoming successful in the music industry. After a year he started his private studies at the Manhattan School of Music with guitar Prof. Rodney Jones. Shortly thereafter, Rodney recommended DeChown at 19 years of age to do a Broadway musical, 'Black and Blue', a one year European Tour. DeChown landed the gig only after showing up and auditioning. He out played his peers and even some of the world’s most renowned guitarist twice his age.
DeChown's style has been called inventive, stunning, refreshing, challenging and soulful. His obvious influences are Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Pat Martino, Joe Pass, and his mentor George Benson, but his own melodicism and infinite style clearly exemplifies that he is a self made guitarist and composer. In acknowledgment, George Benson featured DeChown in his documentary, aired on CBS, and shown on the Sunday Morning TV show. In this documentary George stated, "Young people are now discovering the guitar, and this guy; no one plays it better," referring to DeChown.
Not only is his leadership apparent among his generation, he has succeeded attention as a model sideman (guitarist). If his apprenticeship with musical artist is any indicator of his talent, then the likes of Rihanna, George Benson, Prince, Marc Anthony, Lenny White, Common, Ginuwine, Jennifer Hudson, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige, Macy Gray, Teena Marie, Jill Scott, SWV, and Anita Baker has made him a well versed player, which without doubt has inspired other aspiring artist and musicians.
DeChown's long running working relationship with platinum Hip Hop recording artist Rasheed Lynn, AKA Common, as his guitarist and Musical Director helped him develop his ability to adapt to almost any musical environment. DeChown has been featured on recordings with Common, one of which included a recording with Mos Def and Talib Kweli, two other prominent Hip Hop artists on the record 'Black Star'. This record featured DeChown as a lead guitar player.
By DeChown accomplishing more than ten World Wide Tours with Common over a 6 year period, which included doing TV shows like 'The Tonight Show', and 'Soul Train' as a featured Guitarist; this inevitably gave way to immense exposure to many facets in the music industry. As a result of being showcased in Common’s live shows as a featured artist, the legendary musician Prince, took notice of his talents and invited him to play in his band on various occasions.
In 2005, George Benson produced DeChown's group record under the group name 'MDRC' (Melvin, DeChown, and Robbie Charles). This group consisted of two other original band members, Melvin Davis, and Benson's son, Robbie C. Benson. The album also included a variety of note worthy special guest musicians featured on the record. This recording was officially recorded for GRP Records (Universal Records).