After his success with his first album in 2009, radio DJs began to ask Dean Grech a simple question.
"Where have you been??"
Grech's answer was just as simple. "Man, I've just been out here playing all my life."
As Grech's music from his 2009 album, Look Out, moved up the charts, the question was common on the interview circuit. Grech's album was reaching audiences far and wide. DJs recognized this fact. Grech could move audiences through lyrics and music. What they didn't know was where he came from.
As with many artists of his caliber, Grech?s music career and his long road to success started at a young age. Grech began his devotion to music and guitar at age 7. He played his first paying gig at age 11. His dedication only increased when he took lessons from world-renowned classical guitarist, and Decca recording artist, Rey Delatorre at the age of 14. With the advanced technique that comes with classical training, Dean later found his niche playing jazz and emulating guitarists who would become Grech's guide to improv in the years to come. His interest started with a gift. Grech's jazz influence can be traced back to a friend of the family who gave him a stack of records. In that stack, Grech found "Kaleidoscope" by Johnny Smith and "Boss Guitar" by Wes Montgomery. The passion was placed. The sounds of these two guitar players haunted Grech relentlessly from that point on.
With those records, Dean locked himself in his room and practice for hours on end. While most kids set their sights on Saturday morning television, Grech set his sights to play jazz as a profession. His friends from those days remind him. Tha'?s all he talked about, they say today. At the chagrin of Delatorre, who envisioned Grech to be a great classical player someday in his footsteps, those jazz records essentially ended Grech's classical guitar career. Jazz music opened the door to improvisation he loved more. Grech never looked back. Within the next few years, Dean began to perfect his jazz improv technique through hours of practice in his room and with engagements he played professionally at a young age. Determined to follow his path at 19, Grech went on to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston. At college, his passion for jazz, and music in general, solidified his pursuit to follow a music career. He?s never done anything else.
Through the next few decades after school, Dean fulfilled many dreams. Dean would go on to tour with original and cover groups who played locally and worldwide. Later, his work could also be found on television and movie soundtracks. Grech would have success as a songwriter for various American and European artists. He was employed by The Walt Disney Company and traveled with their world tours and for their park in Anaheim for seven years. It was after many years of stage work, Grech turned to his biggest dream. Performing and recording original jazz content became a reality. Finding success with a jazz Christmas tune that received radio play, producers encouraged Dean to compose his first album. Grech went to work. He has since completed three albums, "Look Out" and "We Got Lost." His third album, "Back in Time" is hitting the airwaves in April of 2021.
History has been kind to Grech. In the last decade, Grech's previous albums have charted well. Songs from those two albums have charted as singles on Billboard, and most importantly, his music has charted number one Billboard's "most increased playlist." Such interest is understandable now for where it?s been placed on the charts and in the general media. For example, the song, "Two Strong Arms" written by Dean Grech and Reggie Ashley, was featured in Dustin Lance Black's 2011 motion picture release Virginia, starring Ed Harris and Jennifer Connelly. This was just the start. Dean?s second album. We Got Lost, 2014, has since produced three Billboard charting tracks, including "Shake it Around" and "Playa Rosa." The CD features the stellar performances from Grech's collection of accomplished musicians, such as Greg Vail, Hal Ratliff, Hans Zermuehlem, Mitch Manker, John Ferraro, Rick Shaw, Koko Powell and Noel Sweeney. With such talent behind the music Grech has written, Grech has become well-known in smooth jazz circles as being the musician to listen to, the standard to emulate. While that's true, one can also make the obvious argument Grech writes straight-ahead jazz and Latin jazz just as well. As noted, Grech's early childhood exposure to a multitude of jazz and commercial styles, and his time at Berklee, is on display in all his albums and performances. While his albums in the past decade has appealed to a wide number of fans with wide musical interests, Dean's success in the recording business has also unlocked opportunities in the performance business since his first album in 2009. His listeners have also found him on stage opening up for some familiar acts in the music business.
As a performer, Dean has opened as a name act for artists such as Al Jarreau, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Jay Leno, The Beach Boys, Dave Koz and David Sanborn. His work can be found on compilation albums with other artists such as Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney and on movie sound tracks such as "Virginia" with Ed Harris and Jenifer Connelly . Dean has also been featured as a guest artist on PBS with Grammy-award-winning engineer John Lowson's program "How We make Music For CDs And Downloads". Currently, with his third album set to take off in the US and foreign markets. Radio DJs haven't been asking where Grech is today. They know he owns one of the foremost spots on jazz playlists today. He is established talent with a following.