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Born in Seattle, Washington, Dean Johnson 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. From 1974 to 1976 Dean 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.

Since arriving in New York, in 1980, Dean has been busy free lancing with a wide variety of artists in the Northeast, and has had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and numerous tours of Europe, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Mexico, and Israel. Some of the eclectic array of artists Dean has been and continues to be involved with include Bob Brookmeyer, Randy Brecker, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Art Lande, Jane Ira Bloom, Ray Anderson, Mark Sherman, Dave Douglas, Lee Konitz, Nguyen Le, Steve Kuhn, Wynton Marsalis, The New York Voices, Jackie and Roy, Carol Sloane, Roseanna Vitro, Kendra Shank and many others. Dean has also appeared on over 75 recordings with a variety of artists. Dean has also taught privately for years and has conducted clinics at the Berklee College of Music, New Mexico State University, University of Northern Colorado, Ithaca College, and at the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music.

Gerry Mulligan however is Dean's most prominent association. Dean spent 10 years with Mr. Mulligan until his passing in 1996 in a variety of musical situations including the Quartet, Nonet, Big Band, and Orchestra. Dean performed in concerts and jazz festivals all over the world and with a number of well-known pianists that were in that group including, Harold Danko, Bill Mays, and Bill Charlap.

Dean’s premier CD TRIOLOGY ‘Study of the Trio’ was released Jan. 1st. It is mostly standards featuring four different trios.
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