Dean Bowman gratefully acknowledges traditional Black spirituals and gospel as "ground zero" for his creative development. He recently released "Death Don't Have No Mercy," a solo (a cappella) CD of this body of work on Living Jazz Archive record label.
Heralded by the LONDON GUARDIAN as "soulful, charismatic, and technically brilliant. a star." Dean Bowman is renowned internationally for his "rumbling baritone and heart-peeling falsetto. a showstopper" (VILLAGE VOICE). Without a doubt, a major contributor to the NYC downtown jazz, rock, and avant-garde scenes, he is an accomplished, "massively talented" vocalist and performance / recording artist. He has been described alternately as a "vocal-mentalist," "tone poet," "avant-garde gospel singer," and a "jazz singer with the soul of a rocker," for his work with Don Byron, "Do The Boomerang", the music of Junior Walker (BLUE NOTE/EMI), as well as touring the music of Ray Charles with John Scofield.
Rooted in the classics, and schooled by his mentors John Paxton and Dr. James Mumford, Dean Bowman studied under David Baker and Barry Harris. Formal studies also were with Greg Drew, Rael Wesley Grant, Craig Harris, James Weidman, and Jerome Harris.
Credits include records with Lester Bowie (Brass Fantasy*, When The Spirit Returns*, The Odyssey of Funk and Popular Music*), Jane Bunnett featuring "Pancho" Quinto (Ritmo + Soul), Don Byron (Do The Boomerang, Existential Dred, Bug Music), Uri Caine (Primal Light, Goldberg Variations), Jane Bunnett, Stanley Cowell, and Dewey Redman (Spirituals and Dedications*), Elliott Sharp (Blues For Next*), and his definitive vocal work for Screaming Headless Torsos (1995*, 2005*), among others.
Dean Bowman has also been a featured collaborator on projects in Europe including Sandy Lopicic Orkestar, a fusion of gypsy music, funk, and traditional Black spirituals; a big band project with UMO Jazz Orchestra (arranged by James Weidman); a hard rock band in Marseille called Full Circle with former students from Music Academie International; a jazz-funk band called Little Rock 9 based in Wuppertal, Germany, and the Universal Blues Experience with Berlin-based blues guitar master Jean-Paul Bourelly.
Dean Bowman was a featured vocalist for Québécité, an opera composed by D.D. Jackson, with libretto by Canadian-born poet-laureate George Elliot Clarke. He has performed with Steve Nieve, Janice Pendarvis, Sophia Ramos, DK Dyson, among many others, and was a featured voice of two characters for the Sony PlayStation game "Parrappa The Rappa." * denote compositions