by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photos provided by Calabro Music Media

Scripps Ranch Rock Star

It’s not every day you find a real live rock star living in your neighborhood. If you are a Scripps Ranch resident, you’re in luck because Karl Denson is exactly that. Having been a musician all his life, Denson – who is a gifted saxophonist, flutist, songwriter, and vocalist – has had a large repertoire of music jobs, including playing with the likes of Lenny Kravitz, Slightly Stoopid, and Switchfoot, while also continuing to tour with his own band, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. Last year his talents took him to new heights: playing with the Rolling Stones on their Zip Code Tour. “Equally breathtaking every night,” Denson described the experience. “It’s really just awesome to see how they roll (and they roll large) and conduct their business.”

Denson – who grew up in Orange County – started his music career at an early age. “I started playing saxophone in the seventh grade and was pretty much a school band kid all the way through high school,” shared Denson. “I owe a lot of my good fortune as far as the music that I was hearing to my older brother who was kind of a jazz aficionado.”


In 1992, Denson began recording with DJ Greyboy in San Diego and at the same time met the future members of his band, Greyboy All-Stars. “I relocated my family here in about ’98,” he stated. “We initially picked Scripps Ranch because of the weather… no marine layer, and we also loved the family, neighborhood vibe.”

Although Denson has many “irons in the fire,” as he described, he is currently spending a lot of time focusing on his latest record. “My most recent album is the one that I’m writing and recording right now which will be released in early 2016,” said Denson. “Probably the proudest accomplishment associated with this record is that I wrote a lot of it on guitar, which I just started playing a couple of years ago. Most of my energy is focused on songwriting and a large part of that is about learning how to sing a song and tell a story.”

With a passion for song-writing, Denson dished some advice to aspiring musicians: “Work hard and make writing a part of your job.” As for his future goals, Denson replied, “I just plan on continuing to work hard and enjoy life.”


Name: Karl Maurice Denson
Profession: Musician
Community: Scripps Ranch since 1998
Hobbies: Tai Chi, travel, reading, the outdoors
Favorite Spots: I have a plethora.