Suzanne Dean

Associate Professor
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"I started playing guitar by ear and singing at the age of 10. I began jazz piano studies in 1974 after being inspired by a Bill Evans album, which a friend had given to me in college. In 1979 I was honored to meet and talk with the great pianist and composer at the Village Vanguard. He was kind enough to show a sincere interest in my music, which was truly inspirtional to me. My advice to students is always to be brave and go up and say hello."

"A lot of the music that I wrote at Berklee as a student in the '80s ended up on my solo albums. I often tell my students that if you put a lot into your time at Berklee, you can get a lot out of it. It's a great place to begin working on your dreams."

"I remember walking down Boylston Street when I was in school, thinking, 'Wouldn't it be great to have talents like Peter Erskine play my music?' When I was preparing to record, as a result of good timing and good connections, I was lucky enough to get musicians like Peter Erskine, John Patitucci, Vinnie Colaiuta, and a host of L.A.'s top session players to play on my albums. I can't compare anything to this incredible experience."

"When you are in the process of creating music, it's exciting to feel the adrenaline and passion that comes from within. But when it's all done and out there, if you manage to reach into the hearts and souls of other people, people you don't know, from all over the world, this is one of the ultimate rewards."

Career Highlights
  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
  • A.A., University of Maine, Augusta
  • Studies at Denison University, New England School of Photography, Sundance Institute Film Scoring Workshop, and California State University, Northridge
  • Former leader of the Suzanne Dean Jazz quartet
  • Recordings include Dreams Come True, I Wonder (Nova Records), and Come to Paradise
  • Orchestrator/composer's assistant for the TV show Jake and the Fat Man
  • String arrangement on Pat Coil's release Departures
  • Author and teacher of Arranging 1 for Berklee Online