ALEX DEAN (saxophones, clarinet, flute, piccolo, oboe) was born October 10, 1954. As a leader, he starred with bassist Chris Conner when the Alex Dean/Chris Conner Quartet performed in the Sound of Toronto Jazz Concert Series on January 24, 1983. As a sideman, he played in another 11 SOT presentations from 1979 to 1998 with Rob McConnell and The Boss Brass, Jim Galloway’s Wee Big Band, the Al Henderson Quintet, Rob McConnell’s Jazz Band, the Kieran Overs Quartet, Tenor Madness, the Pat Collins Quartet, the Chase Sanborn Quintet, Shox Johnson and the Toronto Jive Bombers, and Gordie Evans’ Reeds and Rhythm.
Renowned as one of Canada’s foremost jazz saxophonists, reedman Alex Dean has played and recorded with a who’s who of legendary musicians, bands, and ensembles during a stellar career as an award-winning musician, clinician, artistic director, and jazz educator. His playing credentials include work with Gil Evans, Kenny Wheeler, Mel Torme, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Harry Connick Jr., Ray Charles, Pat Labarbera, Phil Nimmons and the Toronto Symphony. He occupied the tenor saxophone chair with Rob McConnell's Grammy-winning The Boss Brass for many years and recorded their last ten albums with Concord Records. Dean is also a charter member of Rob McConnell's Tentet.
Innumerable recording credits include the release of Rob McConnell's small band Boss Brass 10 CD entitled 'Tentet' (Justin Time) which won a Juno Award in 2001, and 'The Power Trio' D.E.W. East (Alex Dean on reeds, drummer Barry Elmes, and Steve Wallace on bass) second recording entitled 'D.E.W. East meets Nick Brignola' (Cornerstone), which garnered wide critical acclaim. Over the past decade, Alex has appeared on numerous Juno Award-winning jazz albums as well as Grammy Award winners with The Boss Brass. Alex Dean Quartet/Quintet recordings include Dreamsville, Both Feet, and Kaitlyn's Waltz. Kaitlyn's Waltz was voted Best Jazz CD of 1994 by Jazz Report Magazine and one of the top ten jazz CD releases of 1994 by New York's Village Voice.
Alex Dean is Artistic Director of the highly regarded Kincardine Summer Jazz Festival/Camp on Lake Huron, Ontario. He is a widely respected clinician/adjudicator in Canada and the United States. He is a faculty member of the University of Toronto and Humber College Music Departments in Toronto, teaching saxophones and advanced jazz improvisation. He is the Canadian Artist Representative for Boosey Hawkes, endorsing Kielwerth Saxophones and Rico Reeds.
Recently, he has led Blue Note Tribute Bands and was also part of the highly successful Boss Brass Reunion, Sound of Jazz concerts in December 2008. Over the past decade, Alex Dean has appeared on numerous Juno Award-winning jazz albums as well as Grammy Award winners with Rob McConnell and The Boss Brass.
1994 The Alex Dean Quartet recording, Kaitlyn’s Waltz, was voted Best Jazz CD of the Year by Jazz Report Magazine.
1994 - The Alex Dean Quartet recording, Kaitlyn’s Waltz, was named one of the Top Ten Jazz CD releases of 1994 by New York Village Voice.
has image of
is member of
Rob McConnell and The Boss Brass
Shox Johnson and The Toronto Jive Bombers
Reeds and Rhythm (directed by Gordie Evans)
Chase Sanborn Quintet
Kieran Overs Quartet
Kieran Overs Nonet
Al Henderson Quintet
Rob McConnell's Jazz Band
Pat Collins Quartet