Coming from Northeast Ohio, Dean earned a bachelor’s degree in classical performance from Youngstown State University. While in school, he had the privilege to give the world premiere of ‘Ziggurat’ by jazz drummer and composer John Hollenbeck with an ensemble of top musicians from the Dana School of Music. While in school Dean still found time to hone his drumming and compositional chops as a member of one of northeast Ohio’s favorite rock bands, ‘The Zou,’ all while retaining an aggressive schedule with Matrix indoor marching percussion ensemble. Not willing to be stuck in one musical scene, Dean returned to classical percussion as a member of the Ohio Light Opera Orchestra in 2007.
Immediately following his tenure with the OLO, Dean began work on a project as drummer and musical director that culminated in a powerful recital of music by Frank Zappa. Dean finished his degree and took the caption head position writing and instructing the Youngstown State University Drumline. While keeping busy with ‘The Zou’ and other freelance gigs, Dean was asked to join ‘Red Wanting Blue’ in the fall of 2009.
‘Red Wanting Blue’ averages over 125 shows per year and has played along with Michelle Branch, Edwin McCain, Cracker, OAR, Rusted Root, and other major acts. Dean with ‘Red Wanting Blue’ has headlined at venues such as the House of Blues in Cleveland and the Newport Music Hall in Columbus, Ohio. Drawing on such a diverse musical background, Dean’s blend of all styles of drumming, complemented by his creative use of hand percussion, create a unique sound that drives RWB night after night.