Chicago native Denny Zeitlin began playing the piano at age two, studied classical music throughout his elementary school years, and fell in love with jazz in high school. A made-to-order medium for his primary interest in improvisation and composition. The son of parents who were both involved in music and medicine, he combined his interest in jazz with formal study of music theory and composition with Alexander Tcherepnin, Robert Muczynski, and George Russell. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Illinois in 1960 and received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1964.

Currently a psychiatrist in private practice in San Francisco and Marin County and on the teaching faculty of the University of California, Zeitlinís first series of records appeared on Columbia in the mid and late '60s. They were received with critical acclaim and international exposure. He soon withdrew from public appearance for several years in order to develop a pioneering integration of jazz, electronics, classical, and rock. This music emerged in the early '70s with multiple recordings, culminating in the 1978 electronic-acoustic symphonic score for "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

Subsequently he returned to a focus on acoustic music in a multitude of settings, with continued composing, recording and international touring.

He has recorded over two dozen critically acclaimed albums; twice won first place in the Down Beat International Jazz Critics Poll; written original music for Sesame Street; and appeared on network TV. His television appearances include multiple visits on the "Tonight Show", and CBS "Sunday Morning."

Zeitlin's lecture demonstration "Unlocking the Creative Impulse: The Psychology of Improvisation" has been presented across the U.S. and in Europe. He has toured throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Europe at colleges, jazz clubs, and major festivals. Appearing with jazz greats Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Tony Williams, Bobby Hutcherson, John Patitucci, John Abercrombie, Marian McPartland, Charlie Haden, David Grisman, Kronos Quartet, Paul Winter, David Friesen, and many others.

"He is the jazz world's most visible Renaissance man-- a full time practicing psychiatrist, a medical school teacher and a world class jazz musician." Los Angeles Times