Link to recent press release regarding April 2013 concert at Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
An absolute musician, Dean’s roots are in jazz, blues, classical, rock, and country and western. Growing up as the son of a jazz pianist in Tulsa, he learned the roots of jazz from performing in his father’s band in high school. Dean’s teen years were spent learning jazz standards from an older generation of venerated artists. Dean went on to study classical and jazz bass at the University of Tulsa, graduating with a degree in music.
While in college, he performed with various local jazz groups and shared the stage with jazz heavyweights including Stanley Clarke, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Billy Cobham, Max Roach, Stan Kenton, and also performed with the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra and the Springfield Symphony. After graduating, Dean went “on the road” with the renowned western swing band “Asleep at the Wheel”. During this 4-year gig, the band recorded several albums when not on major concert tours with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and George Strait among others. Along with winning a Grammy for “Best Country Instrumental Performance”, there were numerous TV and movie appearances including Austin City Limits, The Mike Douglas Show, and the movie "Roadie".
Dean then relocated to Dallas/Ft Worth and played in the Ft Worth Symphony and with a wide variety of local jazz and blues artists. He performed in venues such as Caravan of Dreams, Sardines, Hard Rock Cafe, and Strictly Tabu. He also traveled the Texas blues circuit with the band Panther City Blues Band.
He arrived in the Atlanta/Marietta area in 1996 where he teaches private music lessons, composes, and continues to perform with his own group, “Dean Demerritt Jazz Tribe” and free-lances with other local bands. The "Tribe" plays a repertoire of jazz "nuggets" from the likes of Wes Montgomery, John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, Horace Silver, Stanley Turrentine, as well as original compositions. They perform all over the Atlanta metro area at venues including: Acoustix Jazz Restaurant and Lounge, Churchill Grounds, Simpatico's (Marietta) and more. In addition, they perform out of state from Florida out west to Tulsa Oklahoma.
Dean relocated to his home town of Tulsa Oklahoma in July 2014. Since arriving back in Tulsa, he has established a new edition of the Dean DeMerritt Jazz Tribe. The Jazz Tribe performed at the Starlight Concert Series at Guthrie Green and had a feature show at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in August 2014.
Dean was featured soloist at the Georgia Music Educators Association January 2015 convention in Savannah Georgia
In addition, Dean was featured soloist with the University of Tulsa Jazz Ensemble in October 2014 at Lorton Performance Hall. The Jazz Tribe was also featured as part of the Tulsa Performing Arts Center “Brown Bag Concert Series”, and had a prominent slot at the annual May Blue Dome Fest.
You can hear the Dean DeMerritt Jazz Tribe at the Bull and Bear Tavern every Saturday night with a featured artist or vocalist. Dean and guitar virtuoso Frank Brown also perform at Juniper Restaurant in Tulsa every Monday night. And, Dean can be caught as a bass sideman with a number of local jazz artists including Mike Cameron, Jeff Shadley, Sean Al Jibouri. Check back for more gig details!