Band to Join, Vocalist - Baritone, Vocalist - Tenor, Vocalist - Soprano, Lead Guitar, Vocalist - Alto.


Drummer/composer Robin Dean brings a rare light to Chicago's independent music scene. Dean's original composition presents a familiar improvisational platform with a unique vigor. Transforming ideas into music, he demonstrates a bold and creative style. Fine-tuned orchestrations, unbound improvisation and an adventurous approach are all part of Dean's distinctive feel.

A jazz and studio performance graduate of the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, Dean's repertoire hints of influences from a variety of composers and genres. Intrepid drumming, angular bass lines, rich harmonic textures and lyrical melodies nod to the popular works of Miles Davis, Bill Evans and John Mclaughlin. Modern artists including Kenny Garrett, Bela Fleck and Amon Tobin are entitled to Dean's avante respects.

Dean's debut fusion recording features four prominent musicians. Guitarist Moto Makino (Los Lobos, Sugar Blue) delivers extraordinary virtuous sound. Eric Levy (Fareed Haque, Garaj Mahal) opens chordal doorways on keyboards. Chris Clemente's (Kick the Cat, Amazing Headgear) bass shows no mercy, careening listeners toward the stage. Novelty and proficiency are Dean's percussive power on drums. Their talents meld an elaborate tonal palette.

Dean's latest release, "Shadows Need Light", introduces newcomers Chris Madsen on saxophone, Paul Mutzabaugh on piano and Jon Wegge on upright bass. Recorded for the sheer pleasure of traditional jazz, this ensemble exudes pure spirit. Each soloist glides seamlessly through robust kinetic aesthetics. Under the assisted production of Wes Cichosz, this recording will mark its place in time.

New projects evolve under Dean's name. His most recent is in the electronica genre, featuring over thirty-five Chicago musicians. MIDI programming, samplers, outboard effects and turntable guru DJ X-Ray (Ang13) amount to an energizing experience of thunderous proportions. Dean himself is responsible for the performance, recording and production of this sonic extravaganza which is anticipated for release fall of 2007 (Shadow Vault Productions).

Dean has shared the stage with major artists Victor Wooten, Charlie Hunter, Stanley Jordan, The Aquarium Rescue Unit, Billy Cobham and Jazz-is-Dead, Big Ass truck and Colonel Bruce Hampton. His band has performed at Chicago's Elbo Room, Lyon's Den, The Mutiny, Quenchers Saloon and Northern Illinois University. Nationwide promotions and touring are in Dean's upcoming plans.

A lively artistic presence, organized commercial appeal and active networking are Robin Dean's trademarks. Dean is also a member of Chicago's Alpha Artist Alliance promotional collaborative. Clubs booking Dean will experience an incendiary spark of affiliated bands and music-seekers. At the forefront of Chicago's independent music scene, Dean's connections will catalyze a club's promotional success.

Fusion Reviews

"This band is very cool. They throw down some really good fusion with a nice funky groove. I like the combination of sounds and the sense of humor that comes through in their performance." - Andrew Durkin of Industrial Jazz Group

"After hearing Dean's group for a second time, I must say that I dig these cats tremendously. There are so many interesting ideas going on with their music! Amazing describes it well enough." - Herbie Shon of GarageBand

"These musicians have it together. I am thoroughly impressed with the coherency of their material. Creative, inspiring and energetic is the Robin Dean Ensemble and I anticipate their success." - Joe Anikewich of Bones and Tones

Jazz Reviews

"After a long day at work this is precisely what I want to hear. Dean's band is smooth, sexy and keeps the spirit alive! His drumming is great and the upright bass work is perfect." - Billy Seals of Einstein's Dream

"The rhythm section is tight, yet fluid. The saxophone and piano move like a hand in glove, complementing each other throughout their performance. It's a hip ride all the way via great work by consummate players!" - Steve Davis of Talizen

"Such engaging music is what I've been searching for. Dean's beautiful melodies keep you on your toes. The level of freedom found here is something rarely heard beyond the upper echelons of performance." - Matt Triangle of Mawda

Electronica Reviews

"My introduction to this band was positive. I like their vibe, which consists of excellent programming drenched in effects. Their presence creeps into your senses and leaves you smiling." - Gerald Patient of Cling

"Soft percussive beats, warm textures and catchy hooks are developed over kicking bass lines. Always pushing the envelope farther than expected, Dean's music is more than dance floor compatible. Hear this live!" - Kataz of 13 Amp

"They start out with a nice lo-fi groove, slowly introducing ambient effects. A tight bass line then brings it all together. The mood is hauntingly mysterious and the sequencing is well done like a juicy steak." - Yesha Cohen of The Weather Inside

Screen name:
Member since:
Jun 19 2009
Active over 1 month ago
Level of commitment:
Years playing music:
Gigs played:
Over 100
Tend to practice:
1 time per week
Available to gig:
6-7 nights a week
Most available:


"There are only two kinds of music ... good and bad." - Duke Ellington


Gretsch USA Maple 4-Piece Jazz Kit, Gretsch Catalina Club 6-Piece Rock Kit, Roland V-Drums Studio Series, PowerBook G4, Cubase SE 3, Halion 3, Kontakt 3, MIDI Keyboard, Lots of Samples