In the last few years Dean has performed with numerous groups including the New York Voices, and in special concerts with jazz artists Fred Hirsch, Jane Ira Bloom and Art Lande. He also performs regularly with pipa virtuoso Min Xioa-Fen and guitarist Steve Salerno in the Blue Pipa Trio, performing their eclectic combination of jazz, bluegrass and Chinese folk songs. As bassist for vocalist Roseanna Vitro, Dean has performed as a U.S. Jazz Ambassador in the Balkans, Kazahkstan and Kyrgystan, as well as a live recording at the Kennedy Center featuring pianist Kenny Werner, and a recording project celebrating the music of Randy Newman featuring Mark Soskin. He has performed, recorded and toured for over six years with vibraphonist Mark Sherman and a quartet including drummer Tim Horner and pianist Allen Farnham. Dean performed over the last eleven years with vocalist Kendra Shank along with pianist Frank Kimbrough and drummer Tony Moreno. Dean has an ongoing collaborative relationship with saxophonists Bob Kindred & Hayes Greenfield, guitarists Jay Azzolina & Bruce Arnold.
Born in Seattle, Washington, in 1956, Dean studied Bass Violin with a number of bassists, including the renowned Gary Peacock. Dean also studied piano and composition at the Cornish Institute, in Seattle, with James Knapp and from 1974 to 1976, attended the Berklee College of Music, in Boston, studying with bassists Rich Appleman, John Neves, and studying theory, composition, and arranging with John LaPorta and Herb Pomeroy.