Dino JA Deane

Friday, July 23. 2021 at 11:14pm marked the peaceful passing of Dino J.A. Deane. He transitioned in New Mexico with his dearest friends, Joe Sabella and Katie Harlow, at his side. Born on February 16, 1950, Deane was 71.

Over a career spanning more than four decades, this multi-instrumentalist, sound-designer and conductor demonstrated a unique and innovative approach to the world of music. Dino pioneered the use of live-electronics in Indoor Life - a popular art/punk band from San Francisco during the early 1980's. He played a trombone-controlled synthesizer which emulated the sound of an electric guitar and employed a tape-echo to create loops.

During the 1980’s Dino toured the world with Jon Hassell as the electro-acoustic live-sampling percussionist. That collaboration resulted in the ground-breaking Power Spot recording for ECM in 1986, produced by Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois.

During that same period Dino became a close collaborator in Butch Morris's real-time composition creations called Conductions®, and in 1995 co-produced Morris's epic 10-CD box set Testament, for New World Records. Dino originated the term “live-sampling” - recording members of an ensemble while in performance, manipulating the sound, then playing back the recorded audio like an instrument. He is considered a master in this field of performance.

Dino had an extensive background in composition for modern dance, having created over fifty dance/music works with his life partner, dancer/choreographer Colleen Mulvihill. He had an equally long history creating sound designs for dramatic theater, working with writer directors as diverse as Sam Shepard, Julie Hebert, Christoph Marthaler and John Flax of Theater Grottesco.

Since 1995, Dino released several albums under his own name and directed the ensemble Out of Context. More than 400 hours of his compositions are being prepared for streaming release to preserve his legacy and his contributions to improvisation.

In November 2020, Dino published Becoming Music - Conduction and Improvisation as forms of QiGong, which is available through Bandcamp and other stores.


His music and writings are being preserved at:




For more information on Deane's contributions please contact:

Cookie Marenco / Blue Coast Music at support@bluecoastmusic.com


Ike & Tina Turner - Nutbush City Limits - image

1973 (L.A.) - I was playing trombone, electric piano and percussion in a funk band called Poverty Train (from the Laura Nyro song), five sets a night six nights a week. I was also doing studio work with the L.A. Horns and one of our clients was Ike Turner. Ike liked to do horn sessions from about 3:00 A.M. until about 7:00 in the morning and we did plenty of sessions at his studio Bolic Sound. I learned allot about  multi-track recording from Ike when we were working on NUTBUSH CITY LIMITS. After Ike & Tina split up I toured with Tina for about a year playing trombone, alto-flute, clavinet and string synthesizer.

Indoor Life - Celluloid - image

1980 (San Francisco) - I dove into San Francisco's diverse and thriving music-dance-theater community in 1978 and in 1979 joined an art/punk band called Indoor Life. I was now playing electric trombone and using it to control (pre midi) analogue synthesizers. I was also using a tape-echo to create "live-loops". INDOOR LIFE put out a self titled EP that was quickly picked up (bootlegged) by Celluloid Records in France. The band decided to move to New York which would serve as a centralized home base for recording and touring in the U.S. and Europe.

Jon Hassell - Power Spot - image

1986 (New York) -  After moving to N.Y.C. in 1981 with Indoor Life I become very involved with the downtown improvised music scene. I also started playing sampler and electro-acoustic percussion, doing what I called "live-sampling" with Jon Hassell in 1982. We toured allot in Europe and Japan. When we recorded POWER SPOT in 83/84 for ECM, we went up to Daniel Lanois' studio in Canada with Daniel and Brian Eno producing. Many people feel that this recording is Hassell's most significant and most influential work.

John Zorn - Cobra - image

1987 (San Francisco) - I moved back to San Francisco in 1986 but projects I worked on during my time in New York continued to be released. I had performed on three of John Zorn's game pieces but COBRA was the one that became the most popular. This Hat Art release was a double album, one studio recording and one live recording. I played trombone, electronics on the live disc.

X-Communication - image

1991 (Oakland) - I moved to Oakland in 1990 but associations I had made in New York continued to grow. The most important musical connection I made during my stay in NYC was with Butch Morris. I started playing trombone, electronics and sampler in his large ensembles in 1985 (conduction #3) and in his touring trio with Wayne Horvitz in 1986. The project called X-COMMUNICATION - Deane, Hirsch, Hwang, Koch, Lovens, Morris, Reichel, Schütz, was an octet that played the European festival circuit for about three years (88/89/90). This recording was from the FMP festival in Berlin 1990. 

J.A. Deane - Nomad - image

1995 (Ribera) - I moved to rural New Mexico in 1995 and started to engage with a completely new musical community. 1995 marked the release of NOMAD (Victo) a collection of dance/music works I created with my partner, dancer choregrapher Colleen Mulvihill, at our loft in Oakland. It was the first release under my name and the continuation of a very prolific period for me. Deane mixes unlike sonic textures together in a way that gives life to something entirely different, something you've never heard before. - Vanishing Point

Butch Morris - Testament - image

also in 1995 - I had been collaborating with my now dear friend Butch Morris for ten years playing trombone, electronics in his touring trio as well as doing all of the live-sampling in his large conduction ensembles. I co-produced his epic 10 CD box set TESTAMENT  for New World Records. The most ambitious documentation of an evolving, cutting-edge music since CECIL TAYLOR IN BERLIN '88....The players are the medium with which Morris action-paints sprawling, intense soundscapes....Butch Morris has made an important contribution to the cultural dialogue we call music. - JazzTimes

Burning Cloud - image

1996 (Ribera) - BURNING CLOUD - recorded at the FMP festival in Berlin 1993.
Butch Morris, cornet

Le Quan Ninh, percussion 

J.A. Deane, trombone, electronics, live-looping, flute

This work is a monument to these three musicians' total willingness to communicate with each other, led by forces they didn't even understand when they were creating this masterpiece. ~ Thom Jurek for the site ALL MUSIC

Dino & Colleen EXILE IN RIBERIA - image

Dino & Colleen "EXILE IN RIBERIA" 1997 to 2007

This was a very intense period of upheaval, transition, research, and rebirth and through my association with Mark Weber and Zerxpress it became a very prolific time as well.

The Bubbadinos - Yup, We're Beating A Dead Horse - image


Mark Weber - guitar, vocals : Ken Keppler - fretless banjo, violin, accordion :

Mark Weaver - tuba :  Stefan Dill - flamenco & electric guitars :

Bubba D (aka j.a. deane) - lapsteel, piano, bass-flute

1997 READY AS WE'LL EVER BE our 15 minutes of honky tonk fame zerx
1998 WE'RE REALLY MAKIN MUSIC NOW honky tonk chamber music zerx 14
1999 THE BAND ONLY A MOTHER COULD LOVE ultra americana deluxe zerx 21
2000 YUP, WE'RE BEATING A DEAD HORSE the sgt. bubbadino sessions zerx 34
2001 SET IN OUR WAYS melted zerx

Dillinger - image


zerx 15
Mark Weber - hubcaps, text
J.A. Deane - percussion, sampler, live-sampling

tapes, piano, shakuhachi

2001 DILLINGER zerx 39 - double cd
Todd Moore - poems
J.A. Deane - trombone, electronics, sampler, live-sampling, tapes

2005 OUT OF CONTEXT PLAYS 1" = 25 MILES burning books/high mayhem
story collection written by Sumner Carnahan
J.A. Deane Conducts the Out of Context Ensemble

2007 TRY BEING ALIVE IN THIS WORLD burning books
Melody Sumner Carnahan - words : Elizabeth Wiseman - voice
Dino J.A. Deane - sound design : Michael Sumner - source recordings



Conducted by J.A. Deane

2001 NEVER NEVER LAND zerx 32

high mayhem

Dino_blue - image


1999 SoLoDiNo concert improvisations zerx 20
Dino J.A. Deane - trombone, electronics, standing waves, sampler

J.A. Deane - trombone, electronics, standing waves, bass-flute
Al Faaet - drums, framedrum, percussion

2000 THESE TIMES zerx 28

Live at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston '88
J.A. Deane trombone, electronics, multiple drum machines
Bill Frisell - electric guitar
Terry Rolleri - electric guitar

2002 HEX zerx 44
J.A. Deane - acoustic & electric trombones, bass-flute

shakuhachi, bass drum, sampler, live-sampling
Myra Melford - pianos
Joseph Sabella - drums

2006 TAIJI POLE high mayhem
Dino J.A. Deane - vertical flute, electronics, live-looping
Carlos Santistevan - verticle bass, electronics, live-looping
Matt Deason - horizontal bass, electronics, live-looping

The Webster Cycles - image

2008 (Villanueva) - I stopped playing the trombone in 2001 feeling I had taken the instrument as far as I was going to take it (acoustic & electric). This recording of THE WEBSTER CYCLES (ColdBlue) by Steve Peters for six multi-tracked acoustic trombones was recorded in Santa Fe in 1998. Deane is a soulfully expressive musician and, despite the calm and coolness of Peters's music, his interpretation has immediate emotional appeal as well as seductive depth. - Julian Cowley, The Wire

Without Desires - image


I played the trombone a fretless brass instrument for forty years......and as George Lewis said to me when he found out that I had stopped playing it .....    "You know Dino, a gentleman is someone who can Play the trombone, but refrains from doing so".

1984: Canada, during the recording sessions for Power Spot, a guy walks into the studio selling a national lap steel guitar, I buy it, only to use it as a sound source for sampling.

1997: New Mexico, I start playing the lap steel guitar with THE BUBBADINOS , recording 5 albums over 5 years, all the while keeping a primitive (punk rock) relationship with the Instrument (not as easy as one might think).

2001: I stop playing the trombone, buy a fretless mountain dulcimer to study the math of harmonics and continue to maintain a primitive relationship with both the lap steel and the fretless dulcimer.

2007: Yozo Suzuki (guitarist with The Late Severa Wires) builds "the bastard"

one for him / one for me, based on the ancient Chinese GuQin - I start seriously practicing all 3 instruments.

2008: Quintin Stephens builds my solid body fretless electric dulcimer and.....

I play it incessantly.

2009: OTR STUDIOS, November, I create my first recorded work on lapsteel dulcimer WITHOUT DESIRES released in 2011.

2014 (on the front range) I moved to Longmont Colorado and over the next three years I worked with Daniela Veronesi (linguest / editor) to articulate the Lexicon of signs and gestures of the Conduction vocabulary in an effort to finish The Art of Conduction : A Conduction Workbook by Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris.


Butch passed on 1/29/13 before the completion of his book, documenting all of the techniques of Conduction, his lifelong work with collaborative composition.

The book was published in 2017