Colin Dean

Colin Dean

 New York City, New York, USA

Colin Dean, a bassist, composer and music director. His band's music is deeply rooted in the jazz tradition with a touch of world and urban rhythms.

As an individual, Colin is deeply committed to using his skills and talents to contribute to building cultures of peace.


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. He has recently collaborated with hip hop artists Eternia and Hasan Salaam, and 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 finished production of his debut album as a leader, “Shiwasu”. 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. “Shiwasu” is scheduled for release October 5, 2010.

In addition, Colin is also currently pursuing a Masters Degree in the Graduate Program in International Affairs at the New School. His research focuses on how music and art can be used to contribute to a culture of peace, through cultural diplomacy, human rights advocacy, conflict transformation and development.


Shiwasu - released October 5, 2010