Get to Know Kevin Dean

Trumpeter and organist Kevin Dean is a Professor of Music (Jazz Studies) at the Schulich School of Music, McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. He was born in Mason City, Iowa in 1954 sand received a Bachelor of Music degree in 1976 from the University of Iowa. Dean received a Master’s Degree in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Miami (Florida) in 1980, then joined the faculty of St. Francis-Xavier University in Nova Scotia where he helped develop Canada’s first university accredited Jazz studies program. He accepted his present position at McGill in 1984 and designed and developed their undergraduate jazz curriculum as well as designing McGill’s Jazz Licentiate diploma and co-designing their Masters in Jazz Performance degree.

In 1986 Kevin co-founded the Jazz Association of Montreal and served as their first president. Kevin is active as a performer, composer, clinician and adjudicator and was a faculty member of the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops from 1984 to1996. He is featured on over fifteen CD’s, including six with his original music: Minor Indiscretions (McGill Records 1991), Kevin Dean, Since 1954 (McGill Records 1993), Kevin’s Heaven (Double Time records 1995) Moments Musicaux (Radioland records 1996), Over at Ola’s (Hot Club records 1997, recorded during a sabbatical year in Norway) and Venous Lake (Gemini records 1998) which features guitarist Louis Stewart and bassist Neil Swainson and is enhanced with CD-ROM video material from the recording session. His composition “Andre’s Footsteps” was one of seven jazz pieces chosen to be part of a four CD set (Here and Now, A Celebration of Canadian Music,) compiled and released by the Canada Council celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.

Kevin has performed in concert and recorded with numerous well-known jazz artists including Jimmy Heath, Benny Golson, Joe Henderson and Barry Harris. In recent years Kevin has begun to play and perform on the Hammond organ and has a quartet that features Andre White playing drums and saxophonists Mike Murley and John Nugent. The group performed at jazz festivals in Montreal, Sweden, and Finland last summer and released their first CD; Kevin Dean Organ Band, Live at Upstairs.

Duets by Kevin Dean with Jean-Michel Pilc, is Kevin’s third album with Bent River Records, following Sunset Trail by Kevin Dean and the Big City Wranglers, and Going Down Slow.

Welcome to the Team, Connor!

Connor is an Edmonton-based multi-instrumentalist songwriter and composer hailing from small-town Ponoka, Alberta. As well as working through his composition degree, he can be found playing guitar in a variety of projects in the city. As well as composing and performing, Connor has always had a keen interest in recording and is grateful for the opportunity to work alongside Bent River this semester.

Megan’s Bent River Records Era

It’s Me, Hi — Megan Sell is a second year Arts and Culture Management student with a passion for the music industry and artist management. Growing up she always loved music. In her younger years, she studied piano and was in choir in high school. She practices self-taught guitar, ukulele, and Songwriting in her spare time.

Megan’s first concert experience wasn’t till she was almost 19 and since then she has been to 52 concerts, with more planned, and met 23 artists. She believes when you connect to music and experience it there is a feeling of joy that allows you to enjoy yourself while being surrounded by a community of people.

She plans on using her past education in marketing and graphic communications to help her learning and growth in Artist Management through content creation, postering, event planning like the artist spotlight, and other projects this term. Megan is looking forward to working with Bent River Records this term and growing her knowledge of the music industry.

Megan is a Swiftie, and she leaves you with one of her favorite Taylor Swift quotes: “Never believe anyone who tells you that you don’t deserve what you want” —Taylor Swift.

Lyric Writing Competition – Lyric Submissions Wanted!

Lyric Writing Competition

Songwriting Competition Series Part 1/3

Lyric Submissions Wanted!

Calling all creative writers and part-time poets. 

In celebration of MacEwan’s legacy of artistic collaboration, Bent River Records is offering an opportunity to have your work recorded. The contest was conceived as a way to honour the generous and ongoing contribution of one of the label’s major donors, Dr. Craig Monk, the Provost & Vice-President, Academic at MacEwan University. 

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: 4:00 pm MST on October 6th, 2023


ABOUT THE COMPETITION: This contest is open to all currently enrolled MacEwan Students; no music background necessary! We are looking for your best song lyrics. We ask that you keep it under 350 words, maximum of two submissions per person.

The theme for this competition is “Gratitude” – please use this theme as inspiration for your lyrics. Adherence to the theme will be one of the considerations for adjudication.

If your work is selected, it will then be paired with an original composition done by a fellow student in the Music Department. The winner will be announced on the Bent River Records website and contacted individually. Composers stay tuned! We will be announcing the composition competition soon.

PRIZE: $750.00 honorarium 

FORMAT: Entries must be in PDF format, up to 350 words. 

*Please do not put any personal information on the PDF in order to maintain anonymity.

TERMS & CONDITIONS: The author will retain all intellectual property rights, with BRR having the right to print a limited run of vinyl and CDs, for promotional purposes only.

Adjudication will be completed by a panel of jurors selected by BRR, and will contain members of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Communication and representatives of BRR. The anonymity of entrants will be maintained; judges will not know the identity of the writers they are evaluating until after adjudication is complete.

Bent River Records values, promotes and prioritizes diversity, equity and inclusion in all of its work. We recognize the systemic barriers that have led to many artists being underrepresented and will continue to do work to amplify and uplift voices that reflect Edmonton’s diverse communities. We are committed to fostering an inclusive culture that represents diverse backgrounds.

Please contact if you have any questions.

TO ENTER: Please click here to submit your entry.

Send us your submission before the deadline of 4pm on October 6th, 2023. 


Welcome Suzuanne!

Welcome to Suzuanne Burwash, the new BRR “Level Up” summer student. Suzuanne is going into her final year of Design studies at MacEwan. She has the unique distinction of having won two Brent River Record Cover competitions. Her first for Ester Forseth’s “Preacher’s Daughter” (to be released in early 2024) and the second, Jim Walker’s Pipe Dreams with the MacEwan Generations Big Band (to be released in 2024).

Suzuanne returned to school after covid times provided her with the opportunity to reflect and reevaluate her passions. With a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree and a certificate in Arts and Cultural management, Suzuanne continues her interest in life long learning by immersing herself in new experiences with new people at MacEwan and the Bent River Records team.

Although admittedly tone deaf, Suzuanne makes up for her audio short comings with her visual communication abilities. She is an average ability road biker, an off and on wanna be trail runner, a one day I’ll learn how to swim swimmer and a mother of 2 children who tell her all the time she is not cool. Her most notable feature is probably her appetite. You can usually find her snacking.