Dean is a songwriter, performer, producer and visual artist. Born and raised Kalamazoo Michigan, he has been playing piano professionally since age 8 when he would perform between his father's sets at the local hotel piano bar. Learning guitar at age 13 Dean performed his originals in various coffeehouses and bars throughout high-school and while attending Central Michigan University where he majored in art. He appeared for two seasons of a Public Television children's television show, "Acorns and Oak-trees," where he wrote and performed a song live each week dealing with that week's topic.

Dean moved to Florida in the 80s and performed and recorded with over 40 original and cover bands. He has opened for such diverse acts as: New Grass Revival, Steve Vai, Dee Dee Ramone, Company B, Dottie West, The Romantics, and Ygnwie Malmsteen . In the 90's, Dean's original progressive rock band, Third Wish/Wyscan released a three song self- titled EP and a full length compact disc also titled Third Wish which was distributed through jazz/fusion/prog guitarist, Bon Lozago's label, Lo Lo Records.

Dean left Wyscan in 1995 to record and his first solo effort, Deep Sky, released in 1998 to excellent reviews. He spent two years at Jon Secada's production studio Heaven Studios working with ProTools guru and producer Charles Dye and "Dove" award-winning songwriter Tom McWilliams. There he writing, recording and producing for different music projects. In 2002, Dean relocated to Nashville to focus more on writing where he makes a living writing, performing as a solo act, playing dueling pianos, or with his band.His song "(I Called Her) Tennessee" was recorded and released as a single by Tim Dugger on Curb Records in the fall of 2012 and peaked at #40 on the Music Row chart. He has had many songs in movies and commercials including, "Honor Is Ours," in "Foodfight!" in 2013 and "Just Like Love," from the album "Evergreen" (by his other band, "Pretty Little Horses"), in the 2013 movie "The Stream." In 2014 he released a 29 song, progressive rock influenced, concept work based on Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," called, "Shadow To Shadow, Dean Madonia's Frankenstein," to favorable reviews. His latest effort,"My Calliope" was released in November 2019.