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Dean Koba

Dean divides his time between adventures on the jazz scene in L.A. and around the country, more steady and mainstream work at Disneyland, and a roster of college students to whom he passes on the lessons (musical and otherwise) he has learned as a lifelong professional. Jazz has been his primary interest since high school, when he was captivated by The Bill Evans Trio recordings (particularly the later ones with Joe LaBarbera on drums). He has remained insatiably curious and enthusiastic about trends in jazz and jazz drumming, and is always engaging as a performer, listener, and audience member, finding inspiration to push the envelope in his own playing. As a result, Dean is known for energetic drive, deft facility, and imaginative spontaneity on the drums. His distinct style is in high demand, most often in trios led by pianists Tamir Hendleman and Greg Reitan, and guitarist Barry Zweig. This explorative spirit is balanced by the consistency of his “steady gig” at Disneyland, which he has had since 1993. Dean has enjoyed the musical challenges that come with each of the many bands and shows he has played in over the years, as well as the dedicated musicians he has worked with and befriended there. The storytelling approach of live music at Disneyland has given Dean more ways to reach people through music. Whether it’s a young child experiencing live music for the first time or an old couple enjoying their favorite song, an immediate emotional connection with listeners provides a contrast to the outside jazz world, where musical expression can sometimes take on more cerebral or abstract forms

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