Dean Ivanhoe Fraser (sometimes appearing as Dean Frazer) (born 4 August 1957)[1] is a Jamaican saxophonist who has contributed to hundreds of reggae recordings since the mid-1970s. He was awarded the Musgrave Medal by the Jamaican government in 1993 in recognition of his services to music.[2]

Dean Fraser
Background information
Birth nameDean Ivanhoe Fraser
Born (1957-08-04) 4 August 1957 (age 65)
Kingston, Jamaica
Genresreggae, jazz
Instrument(s)saxophone, vocals
Years activemid-1970s – present
LabelsJoe Gibbs, Germain, Island, Greensleeves, Shanachie, VP, RAS


Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Fraser started to play the clarinet at the age of 12. Around this time he met Ronald "Nambo" Robinson and Junior "Chico" Chin at a youth club in Jones Town and the three boys would eventually form a brass section.[2] Fraser took up saxophone at the age of 15.[1] The trio became the foremost horn section in Jamaica in the 1980s. In 1977 he joined Lloyd Parks' We The People Band, backing Dennis Brown on several of his recordings for Joe Gibbs.[2] Fraser's first album, 1978's Black Horn Man, was produced by Gibbs. This was followed in 1979 by Pure Horns and Double Dynamite, and in 1980 by Revolutionary Sounds for producer Donovan Germain. Fraser provided horns for Sly & Robbie in the 1980s, both on record and on tour.[2] Fraser appeared at the 1981 Reggae Sunsplash, performing an instrumental version of the recently deceased Bob Marley's "Redemption Song", which led to the 1984 album Pumping Air on Island Records' Mango label.[2] Fraser went on to record two albums of Marley covers, Dean Plays Bob and Dean Plays Bob volume II.[1] Dean Fraser married Sophia Wright on March 21, 1993 in Clarendon Jamaica. They share one daughter.

The digital era of reggae, defined by the use of computers and drum machines to create the backing track, did not affect his output since acoustic instruments such as the saxophone were still in demand. Fraser has released several more albums since and he is recognized as one of Jamaica's top musicians. He toured extensively with Luciano from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s,[3] as well as performing on and adding production to several of the singer's albums, including A New Day, Serious Times and Jah Is My Navigator.[4][5] More recently, Fraser has been recording, producing and touring with singers Tarrus Riley and Duane Stephenson.[6][7] Also, Dean Fraser has redone 16 tracks on CD 2 of "We Remember Gregory Isaacs", which was recorded in 2011 on VP Records.


Solo albums

Collaborative albums
  • Two Colors - Dean Fraser and Ernie Ranglin (2022), VP / Tad's[9]

Albums produced by Dean Fraser
  • We Remember Bob Andy (2023), VP[10]

Participated albums


  1. ^ a b c biography by Sandra Brennan
  2. ^ a b c d e Larkin, Colin: The Virgin Encyclopedia of Reggae, Virgin Books, 1998. ISBN 0-7535-0242-9.
  3. ^ Van Pelt, Carter. Luciano Interviewed by Carter Van Pelt. 28 February 1999. Retrieved 2011-3-23.
  4. ^ CD Reviews - Luciano. CaribPlanet. Retrieved 2011-3-23.
  5. ^ Taylor, Angus. Luciano United States of Africa Review. BBC Music. 2010-07-09. Retrieved 2011-3-23.
  6. ^ Taylor, Angus. Interviews - Tarrus Riley Archived 27 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Reggae News. Retrieved 2011-3-23.
  7. ^ Duane Stephenson Archived 21 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Imagine Dat Entertainment Services. 2009. Retrieved 2011-3-23.
  8. ^ "Sings and Blows - Dean Fraser". AllMusic.
  9. ^ "Two Colors - Dean Fraser / Ernie Ranglin". AllMusic.
  10. ^ "We Remember Bob Andy - Various Artists". AllMusic.
  11. ^ "Beres Hammond - Never Ending". AllMusic.

External linksEdit