my name is denzel mendoza, an Undocumented Immigrant. born in singapore, raised in las vegas nv, studied in new york city ny, and based in portland or.

to understand what i do, you must understand who i am - an Undocumented Musician faced with an unnerving sense of hope.

i’ve been living in the united states of america since 2000, i speak english, i pay taxes, i work a decent job, i even own a home with a real mortgage yet here i am seen as Illegal and Criminal.
           Illegal and Criminal. Illegal and Criminal.

those are the words i’ve carried under my breath since i was a child and since then i’ve embraced them as strenghts to prove to those who see me as an other.

i graduated highschool in 2013 in las vegas nv and moved to new york city to attend the new school for jazz & contemporary music to drop out after one semester due to lack of funds. i continued to stay in nyc where i learned most of what i know now - communication, community, adaptability, and a deep understanding of the human good. 
as of 2015, i’ve been in portland, or, where i have established myself as a musician and creative joining and forming a multitude of projects from haley haynderickx, the portland jazz composers ensemble, kulululu, but most importantly,
               Illegal Son.

Illegal Son is an interpretation of the Undocumented way of life through Sound and Music. day to day there is no promise of a tomorrow, there is only hope and fear - the revelry of another day is what i hope for.

to process life under the umbrella of being Undocumented consists of improvisation, constant back and forth of wondering what’s next; the music, the sounds, and ear of Illegal Son is improvisation. it’s insecure, it’s unstable, but hopeful.                                     
                                                      the trombone is my voice and my path as an                                                             Undocumented Immigrant is to uplift the count-                                                           less voices of those unheard like mine. 

                                         i am Undocumented, Unafraid, and Proud of it.