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Chris Dean - Musical Director


Orchestra leader Chris Dean is Britain's Foremost Big Band Leader.

Chris began his career as a boy soldier in the Household Cavalry. After a spell at the Army School of Music at Kneller Hall studying with Bill Teskey, then Principal Trombone with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Chris joined the Mounted Band of the Lifeguards rising to the rank of "Corporal of Horse" before leaving in 1977 to pursue a career as a freelance musician. His first job after leaving was as lead trombone at the London Palladium. In February 1978 he was invited by Syd to join the Syd Lawrence Orchestra. Chris stayed with Syd as lead trombone until 1983 when the demands of his session career required that he spend more and more time in recording studios.

As a session musician Chris has received acclaim from many of the music industry's top performers. He has recorded with Frank Sinatra, Quincy Jones, Nelson Riddle, George Shearing, Michael Buble, Sheridan Smith, Bradley Walsh, Bob Farnon, Angela Morley, Henry Mancini, Michel Legrand, Barbara Streisand, Natalie Cole, Liza Minelli, Mel Torme and Shirley Bassey. Film work for Composers such as Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams has included the soundtracks for the films Superman, Out of Africa, Basic Instinct, Batman and several Bond movies to name but a few. Chris has also played with Orchestras such as the LSO and RPO and performed on Pop Albums for the likes of Eric Clapton, Westlife, Robbie Williams, Wet Wet Wet and Queen as well as being featured in TV shows such as The Benny Hill Show, Stars in Their Eyes, Come Dancing and several Royal Variety Shows. Most recently Chris performed at the Royal Albert Hall, live for Her Majesty The Queen at her 92nd Birthday Party televised globally on BBC.

From 1987 to 1992 Chris played lead trombone in the great Ted Heath orchestra under the direction of Don Lusher. At the same time he was establishing a reputation as a bandleader in his own right touring with his Great British Big Band. In 1991 he was approached by Manja Leigh (Geraldo's widow) and asked to recreate the Geraldo Orchestra for a series of recordings, broadcasts and tribute concerts.

In 1996, Chris took on leadership of the Syd Lawrence Orchestra following Syd's retirement. The Orchestra has thrived under his direction, keeping Syd's invaluable legacy to British music alive for future generations of audiences and young musicians. Today the Syd Lawrence Orchestra is as highly rated as ever. Recent changes in personnel have breathed fresh life into the Band, and with Chris's experience as musical director and front man, as well as being the orchestra's male vocalist the concerts have never been better received. For 13 consecutive years the orchestra under Chris' baton was voted "The best big band in the land" by members and readers of Big Bands International.

In addition to his work leading the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, Chris is in great demand as a session and jazz trombonist, who regularly performs with The Chris Dean Quartet where he delights audiences with his amazing singing voice.