From Melbourne and now living in Tasmania, Dean is a musician, composer and songwriter of growing note in Australia.
Beginning with a guitar lesson in grade 4, a trumpet in high school, a rock band in year 10, a wish to be a radio king in year 11 and a strange teenage obsession for Mozart, Dean forged his musical self.
Arriving in Hobart in 2000, Dean quickly averaged 180 gigs per year throughout Tasmania with regular tours around Australia. He played whatever he could; guitar in a traditional jazz band, drums in a Hammond funk trio, Double Bass in a jump-swing band and a klezma band and many session/corporate bands in-between.
In 2004 as a UTAS student, Dean earned the prestigious Director’s Prize for Best Performance; the first contemporary performer to do so in the institutions history. He continued to compose and perform while tutoring in Songwriting, Voice and Music Business at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, UTAS from 2006.
All these things became the food, which fed a greater need to write the music that no gig would offer. Dean’s first independent album Like a Drum was released in Melbourne in 1999 and was followed in 2004 by a second major album In Time, which was launched in Hobart’s Theatre Royal. These provided the material for a highly successful national tour of both albums.
It wasn’t long before major artists were noticing Dean Stevenson. He was invited to support Lior, Stephen Cummings, Claire Bowditch, Jeff Martin and toured with Australian legend Mick Thomas (Weddings Parties Anything) with the theatre show The Tank over a 7 year period.
After incredible performances with the Rock Drop at the opening of MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in 2010, Dean was invited to be the first artist to hold a solo show in the Museum. This outstanding and original performance was filmed in 4K hi-definition and released on DVD.
Dean’s follow up record in 2011 was Arco Set. This was a huge change of direction with the use of a string quintet as the primary accompaniment. It was a musical shift that worked, and since this development he has been commissioned for several projects using orchestra including MONA FOMA, Cairns International Festival, Festival of Voices and most recently, DARK MOFO 2014.
In 2012, Dean was the only international musician invited to attend a week of workshops with renown Jazz trio, Medeski, Martin and Wood (MMW) in up-state New York.
From here the invitations and commissions have grown with the composition of Tim Passes, a new work based on the poetry of Timothy Walsh, the late brother of David Walsh (MONA creator) and in October, Dean will travel to London to work with accomplished and highly successful musician/composer, John Metcalfe (Peter Gabriel, Coldplay).
Film scores, theatre works, new compositions and collaborative arrangements await Dean Stevenson, a Tasmanian artist with a distinct style and an international footprint.