Dan Dean

Bassist, Vocalist, Producer, Composer, Engineer

Dan Dean is a multitalented artist, achieving national and international recognition as a bassist, producer, composer, educator, software developer, recording engineer and now-vocalist. He was born in Seattle and lived across the street from the “Birthplace of Seattle” monument at Alki Beach. His parents bought him his first electric bass at age 12.

Education | Performing | Production | Sampling | Engineering | Mastering | Awards


Instructor of Electric Bass, Rhythm Section and Jazz Improvisation at Western Washington University, Shoreline College and Olympic College. Designed, authored and produced the highly successful Electric Bass Method series books 1, 2 and 3 for Hal Leonard Publishing as well as the Hal Leonard Studio Series for Electric Bass books 1, 2 and 3. Designed and recorded the interactive “play along” system for Hal Leonard, first debuted in these publications as well as designing tablature specifically for the Electric Bass. All of Dan’s Hal Leonard publications have been distributed worldwide in many languages.

Artist-In-Residence with the Washington State Arts Commission performing an array of concerts and workshops across the entire state in Elementary, Middle and High Schools with the Northwest Jazz Quintet/Sextet and with his own duo, Collier & Dean, with longtime friend, Tom Collier. The Northwest Jazz Sextet performed many concerts across the west under the auspices of the Western States Arts Commission, performing the music of Duke Ellington at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., DePaul University in Chicago and on Granville Island in Vancouver B.C. for High School Students.


Live performances: just a few of the jazz luminaries Dan has performed with: Shelly Manne, Howard Roberts, Diane Schuur, the Great Guitars (Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel and Charlie Byrd), Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, B.B. King, Eddie Harris, Blue Mitchell and Harold Land, Buddy DeFranco, Donny Hathaway, Tom Scott, Dave Grusin, Bobby Shew, Don Grusin, Chuck Findley, Ernestine Anderson, Bill “William O.” Smith, Ernie Watts, Freddie Hubbard, Bill Mays, Della Reese, George Duke, Larry Goldings, Kenny Werner, Emil Richards, Joe Porcaro, Peggy Lee, Russell Ferrante, Groove for Thought, Vic Damone, Dionne Warwick, Collier & Dean and many more. Dan was an original member of the Bill Smith Trio at the Merchant’s Café in Pioneer Square, Seattle. They were often visited by composers such as John Cage, Alan Hovanness, conductors such as Carmen Dragon and members of the super group, Santana, as Greg Rolie’s father Howard Rolie, owned the club.

Performing classical works: Seattle Symphony, The Thalia Symphony (as guest soloist), the Spokane Symphony, the Everett Symphony (as guest soloist) Seattle Opera, ACT Theatre Kenny G., the Everett Symphony (as guest soloist).

Performing as studio musician: The Brothers Four, Diane Schuur, Seattle’s first “punk band” The Enemy, Michael Tomlinson, Danny O’Keefe, Alex Acuna, Ernie Watts, Bill Mays, Alan White, the Fatback Band, Mark Pearson, Walt Wagner, Howard Roberts, The Kennedy Center, the H.R. (Howard Roberts) Project (producer), Bobby Sherman, Mike Stern, Bill Frisell, The Ink Spots, the Jack Daugherty Orchestra, Wayne Henderson, George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam (Boy Meets Girl), Larry Coryell, Stan Boreson, Norman Durkee, Seattle’s first “grunge band” Hellen Keller, and others.


Dan formed his production company originally focusing on broadcast music for advertising and other media. Selected clients: Coke, Diet Coke, Mountain Dew, Hewlett Packard, the Seattle Mariners, Soloflex, Premera Blue Cross, Memorex, Haggar Sportswear, The Boeing Company, Microsoft, Columbia Sportswear, Business Week, Savin Copiers, Cellular One, the Seattle International Film Festival, the Portland International Film Festival, Seattle Metro, Apple Computers, Dunn Lumber, QFC, Safeway, Nike, Facconable, Seafirst Bank, Business Week, Molina Medical, Swedish Hospital, Williams Bread, The Oregon State “Ducks”, Barrier Motors, Nordstrom, Alaska Airlines, The Bon Marche, Virginia Mason Medical Center, McDonalds and many others.

Dan also wrote and produced numerous TV themes and News Music packages such as: PBS “Great Food”, PBS “Cucina Amore”, PBS/Graham Kerr “A Bite With Kerr” and the “Graham Kerr Show”, KING TV “Almost Live”, KING TV’s “The [2 0 6], KING TV News, KING TV’s “Evening”, KING TV’s “Seattle Today”, KIRO TV News, KOMO TV News, KOMO TV’s “Front Runners”, KOMO TV’s “Town Meeting”, KCPQ TV News, KTZZ TV, WTNH TV, WTVD TV, KOVR TV, Capital Cities Communications, “Masterchef USA”, KDFW News and a host of others. Dan’s production music is released in Germany by Sonoton and can be heard on films “On Being John Malkovich”, “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” and on broadcast such as ABC News “20 20”, “MTV Cribs”, Discovery Network’s “Shark Week”, the hit show “Glee” and so on.


Early on, Dan became involved in the design and creation of digital musical instruments, beginning with the purchase of a “first generation” AKAI “single shot” sampler he purchased on a trip to Japan. From there, he moved into the EMU Systems line of “Emulator 1, 2, 3 and 4” hardware samplers with his Dan Dean Bass Libraries.

While developing a Solo Strings library, Dan discovered a new “software” sampler called Gigasampler, which allowed massive, complex digital instrument creation featuring streaming rather than being stored in RAM. Dan created his own line of these instruments: Dan Dean Solo Strings, Dan Dean Solo Woodwinds, Dan Dean Solo Brass, Dan Dean Brass Ensembles and Dan Dean Giga Bass in the GigaSampler and later, the GigaStudio platform. These were an instant hit with composers and musicians worldwide and are still in use today.

Following the “Giga” wave, Dan created new titles and released them in new formats, most notably in the Native Instruments “Kontakt” line, but also in Propellerheads Reason, AKAI, Apple’s EXS-24 and others. Still working from with the Dan Dean brand name, he released the Dan Dean Solo Strings Advanced, The Bluthner Digital Model One Grand Piano (with associate impulse response authority, Ernest Cholakis), recorded at Skywalker Sound as well as 9 separate advanced-technology basses called Dan Dean Basses Advanced. Dan created a number of new technologies in the sampling realm such as “multi-microphone perspectives”, “very large integration of sampling layers”, “ensemble technology”, “divisi technology”, and other principles which laid the groundwork for today’s sampling methodology. Presently, he has devised a new technology called “microsampler” which allows current instrument size to be drastically reduced while inversely increasing instrument density for implementation in hand-held devices, also obviating the need for conventional hard disk “streaming”.

Audio Engineering

Part of the DDP formula involved the creation of recording studios for Dan’s production and sampling work. He built 3 facilities from “all analog” to completely digital, putting his musical knowledge, ears and technical abilities to work on all sorts of endeavors. He works on a large number of projects from recording basic tracks to mixing and mastering. Producing also fits neatly into this category, and Dan works skillfully with talent, helping them refine their takes in a relaxed atmosphere while capturing inspired performances in high quality audio. He masters recordings for all sorts of record labels and artists, and is an Apple certified “Mastered For iTunes” (MFIT) facility.

Selected Engineering Projects

Across the Bridge Tom Collier with Bill Frisell and Larry Coryell, Songs Without Words Dan Dean Classical, Impulsive Illuminations the University of Washington Music Faculty, D Tales Robert Damper, Najee, Kenny G., Bruce Carter and others, The Tokyo Tapes The Brothers Four, Sleek Buick Collier & Dean, 2 5 1 Dan Dean with Kenny Werner, Gil Goldstein, George Duke and Larry Goldings, Duets Collier & Dean, Whistling Midgets Collier & Dean, Groove for Thought Groove For Thought, All Told Roger Fisher, Straighter Road Come And Join The Family, NBC’s “The Sing Off” Groove For Thought, The H. R. Project (Originals) Various Artists, Living Things Michael Tomlinson.


MLK Convergence Marlene Rosenberg, Carrier Xavier Lecouturier, All Told Roger Fisher, D Tales Robert Damper, Najee, Kenny G., Bruce Carter and others, The H. R. Project (Originals) Dave Grusin, Ernie Watts, Tom Scott, Allen Vizzutti, Alex Acuna, Don Grusin, Bob Bain, Ralph Humphrey, Dan Dean, Across the Bridge Tom Collier with Bill Frisell and Larry Coryell, Petite Fleur the Music of Sidney Bechet Dave Liebman/John Stowell, Cubist Hal Galper Quartet feat. Jerry Bergonzi, Night Visitor John Stowell/Ulf Bandgren Quartet, Destinations Scenes, Impulsive Illuminations Tom Collier UW Music Faculty, Luminescent Gene Argel, Stompin’ at the Savoy UW Studio Jazz Ensemble, Cattitude Piet Verbist, O’s Time Hal Galper Trio, Sleek Buick Collier & Dean, With Love Jessica Williams, Room 35 UW Studio Jazz Ensemble, Duke/Cobham/Scofield/Johnson Live in Europe, Chicago Loves Jazz , But Not Heard Scenes, The Next Step Ted Brancato, Intimate Conversations Dee Daniels, Airegin Revisited Hal Galper Trio, Songs of Earth Jessica Williams, Zygomatik Piet Verbist, The Road Home Clipper Anderson, Little Played Little Bird the Todd Bishop Group OA2, Hymn Jon Hamar, Humble Origins Scenes, Trip the Light Fantastic Hal Galper Trio, and more.


For advertising: Cannes Golden Lion, Soundies, Clios, Best of the West, Addys, Tellys, IBA’s, IBA Spike, Woodies, Rosies, One Show “Silver Pencil” and many others.

For sampling: 3 Keyboard Magazine “Key Buy” awards, Electronic Musician Magazine “Best Buy” Award, Cumulative of 35 stars for the Dan Dean Sampling Line in one year’s time from Sound on Sound Magazine, England.

Commissioned Works

The Seattle Symphony Orchestra: Commission to compose and perform an original symphonic work “Piece for Electric Bass and Vibraphone” with Tom Collier.

National Endowment for the Arts: Grant for Jazz Composition.


FAA rated Commercial Pilot.

ASCAP Writer and Publisher.

Member: Society of Composers and Lyricists.

Member: Audio Engineering Society.

Chairman: SEMUCS Digital Rights Management Group, Frankfurt 2005.

National Association of Jazz Educators Award.