Colin Dean – Biography

Colin Dean was born and raised in Long Island, New York. The son of a drummer, he has been surrounded by music his entire life. He began playing upright bass at nine years old, soon followed with a fretless electric bass as well. He began playing a wide variety of styles very early, including regular performances with the Long Island Sound Symphony, annual high school musical theater productions and jazz band concerts, and became an in-demand bassist for Long Island jazz, blues and swing bands.

He attended the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City and received a BFA in jazz performance in May 2006. While at the New School he studied with masters including Buster Williams, Reggie Workman, Junior Mance, Bobby Sanabria, Rachel Z, Bill Kirchner, Vic Juris, Andy McKee, Benny Powell, Jimmy Owens, Joe Chambers, Jane Ira Bloom and others, where he refined his skills as a bassist and composer.

After graduating from the New School, he emerged as a bandleader and music director, launching his own band, Roots and Grooves. Their debut was supported in part through a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts and they have been performing steadily ever since. In addition to being a jazz performer, Colin is also becoming an in-demand bassist across genres including jazz, hip hop, world music and Broadway.

He has headlined with his own band at top NYC venues including the Blue Note Jazz Club and Joe’s Pub, and has been establishing himself as a music director in a variety of contexts. He has recently collaborated with and backed up internationally renown hip hop artists including Eternia, Hasan Salaam, Baba Israel, Bocafloja, The Reminders, and has opened for artists such as Snoop Dog, KRS-One, MC Lyte, Bahamadia and Jean Grae, to name a few. He also spent nearly two years performing and recording with the internationally acclaimed indie-rock orchestra Emanuel and the Fear.

Colin recently released his debut album as a leader, “Shiwasu”. The album received glowing reviews and national radio airplay. The original compositions are deeply rooted in the jazz tradition, while also drawing inspiration from a wide variety of styles such as world music and hip hop. It features Rachel Z on piano, Sean Nowell on tenor and soprano saxophones, and Colin Stranahan on drums. Rachel Z is a world renown musician and has worked with artists such as Peter Gabriel and Wayne Shorter. Sean Nowell is one of the top jazz saxophonists in New York and has several of his own records out as a leader. Colin Stranahan recently graduated from the Thelonius Monk Jazz Institute and has studied and performed with artists including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Kurt Rosenwinkel.

In addition, Colin recently received a Masters Degree in the Graduate Program in International Affairs at the New School. His research in international affairs focuses on media, cultural diplomacy, conflict resolution, peace building, human rights and security.