Dean Magraw

Dean Magraw

Ever since he first heard the opening riff to the Rolling Stones' "19th Nervous Breakdown" DeanMagraw has been transfixed by the guitar.  Over the course of his career, Dean has grown into one of the most innovative guitarists around with an astounding ability to weave soulful melodic grooves with fluidity, taste, and tonality.  A casual glance at Dean’s career as guitarist, composer, arranger, and producer reveals an artist uniquely consistent in his ability to rise to the highest level of musical expression in a dazzling array of contexts. Dean’s passion transcends all perceived musical boundaries, yet the vital essence of his distinctive style is ever present.

Growing up in a musical household, Dean soaked in a smorgasbord of musical influences.  His parents endlessly danced to big band swing; his sister listened to showtunes and his brother's record collection was full of folk, jazz, rock, and Indian classical albums.  With this kind of musical exposure, Dean began incorporating the various influences and developed his own unique style. Dean later went on to attend the University of Minnesota and the Berklee College of Music in Boston to expand his musical knowledge and understand the history of musical form. 

With his eclectic background and musical versatility, Dean has performed with some of music's iconic players from Greg Brown to jazz legend Jack McDuff to the renowned St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.  Having one foot in traditional and one foot in just about everything else, Dean has recorded more than a dozen albums including three for Red House: Wise Magraw (1985), Broken Silence (1994) as well as Seventh One (1998).  Throughout his career Dean has toured the US, Canada, and Europe earning the respect of his peers as an amazing musician with the ablility to thrive in any environment.  His virtuostic playing is breathtaking and pushes Magraw closer to legendary stature.  Whether he is performing solo, with one of his ensembles or collaborating with world-class musicians, his seemingly endless positive energy radiates through the music and on to those lucky enough to hear it.  

photo by Manfred Pollert