By Judy Tacyn
Ordinarily, an Anne Arundel County high school football game wouldn’t attract worldwide attention, but on October 19, Arundel Wildcats defensive end Jackson Dean made sure his Senior Night was one that no one would soon forget.
With the visiting Chesapeake High School Cougars on the sidelines, and hundreds of fans on their feet in the Wildcats stadium, Dean strummed his guitar and belted out a unique country rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The video was posted to several social media sites and YouTube before it went viral, racking up millions of views.
Dean has been singing since he was young, and he performed in both elementary and middle school plays before auditioning for NBC’s “The Voice” television completion when he was 14 years old. His band, Jackson Dean and the Outsiders, has produced two albums. “The Flood Zone” was released in 2015, and “Who We Are” followed in 2016. The group’s latest single, “Saturday Night,” was released in the fall of 2018.
“We’ve played all over the area, from West Virginia to Delaware,” said Dean, “at places like Rams Head, 9:30 Club and The Fillmore Silver Spring.”
Shortly after the Wildcats defeated the Cougars 49-21 that night, propelling them into the county playoffs, Dean received an invitation to join Steve Harvey in Los Angeles as a guest on the “Steve” TV show to perform his version of the national anthem. The moving performance inspired Harvey to declare, “I think we found ourselves a brand-new country music star right here.”
“It’s been pretty crazy,” said Dean. “We certainly didn’t expect this kind of attention.”
Dean had already attracted attention from the local music scene. He performed at the second annual Strike Out Colorectal Cancer Concert supporting Fight CRC on November 18 at Severna Park Lanes. He was among the many talented artists featured at the Maryland Music Awards on December 15 at Rams Head Live!, but he was the first to step onstage to accept an award. Dean earned Maryland’s Best New Songwriter and Best Breakout Artist during the star-studded event.
Dean is kicking off the new year with several local shows, including an already sold-out Rams Head concert, followed by a January 18 show at Dockside Restaurant & Sports Bar, located at 421 Deale Road in Tracy’s Landing.
Scheduling gigs will be much easier after his high school graduation in May. Dean said he and his band are filling the summer months with a tour that could span from Texas to Montana.
For a full list of Jackson Dean performances, to purchase merchandise or sign up for fan mail, visit www.jacksondeanmusic.com.