Dean Z has dedicated his entire life to honoring the legacy of Elvis Aaron Presley, the "King of Rock 'n' Roll." From his early days growing up in the high desert of Lancaster, California, to stages across the globe, he has shown time and again, he is one of the best the business today. That was proven in August 2013 as Dean was named the 2013 Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist™ in Memphis during "Elvis Week" in a contest sanctioned by Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.When Dean was 3, the documentary "This Is Elvis" was being broadcast on television. He immediately cleared the coffee table, jumped on top of it and started trying to imitate Presley’s every move. Not long after, Dean's mother made his first Elvis jump suit, and he was on his way."The first song I sang on stage was ‘Jailhouse Rock.’
Every time I shook the audience would scream, and I’ve been shaking ever since." Z said.After performing in several shows of his own, Dean took off for the bright light city that would set his soul on fire, Las Vegas, at age 17. He relocated to the entertainment mecca to attain the goal of establishing himself as a well-known act. Throughout the next 12 years, Dean performed in Vegas, and has paid tribute to "The Memphis Flash" in Japan, Australia, Norway, Denmark, England, across Canada and the United States.Dean soon earned a spot with the World's Greatest Live Tribute Show, "Legends in Concert," then in 2007, moved to headlining the show in Branson, Missouri."There's just the right amount of production without watering down the authentic spirit of Elvis in the 50's," Dean says of his daily shows at Legends, Branson.As soon as Dean takes the stage, the stakes are automatically raised. Any preconceived notions are quickly dispatched as Dean takes the form of "The Rockabilly Cat" and never lets up. The young, smooth, grinning rebel Elvis with shiny black hair that is the envy of every man who may ever lay eyes on it comes alive in front of your very eyes.
In addition to his stellar tribute work as Elvis Presley, Dean also performs as Buddy Holly as part of select "Legends in Concert" shows. In 2008, Dean, his 22 year old guitarist and brother Daniel, stand up bass player Rob Edwards and crew produced an amazing musical documentary and CD album collaboration filmed and recorded at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee. Sun Studio is universally considered the birthplace of rock and roll, launching the careers of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, "Howlin'" Wolf, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins. This album-documentary chronicles Elvis’ entire musical catalog from early Sun Studio sessions. The sessions were painstakingly recreated using some of the same equipment that Elvis himself used in that very same studio. Producers also added "snaps," "pops" and "hisses" during post-production to match the original recordings.In 2006, Dean had the opportunity to showcase his acting abilities alongside longtime friend Lance Lipinsky. Together, the talented duo wrote and produced a successful stage show called "Rock & Roll Riot," with Dean portraying Elvis, Buddy Holly, Ricky Nelson and the Everly Brothers, alongside Lance, who also portrayed Jerry Lee Lewis. With authentic props and sets modeled after the Ed Sullivan show, "Rock & Roll Riot" was a cross between a live musical and a real 1950’s concert. The duo used their experience in producing and acting once again, this time to film an independent movie called "The King, the Killer & Buddy." This film recreates the greatest television appearances of Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly.When he isn't on stage performing a tribute to Elvis, making movies or performing in other shows, Dean takes great pride in his two bands, The Gimps and The Kraken. The Gimps, a Rockabilly/Surf powerhouse group, and The Kraken, specializing in pop and rock hits from the 1990’s and 2000’s, perform every other weekend, and the place is always jamming.In 2013, Dean decided it was time to go after the title of Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist.Sanctioned by Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. The Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ involved hundreds of Elvis tribute artists competing in 29 preliminary events all over the world for an invitation to the Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ Semi-Finals in Memphis during Elvis Week.Dean nailed down a trip to the Semi-Finals by winning the Preliminary held during the Rockin’ Elvis Fest” on March 17 at the Pala Casino, in Pala, California. He and the 28 other semi-finalists competed for the top ten spots on August 14th with the Finals coming three days later.Dean performed a version of "Jailhouse Rock" that had the crowd worked into a frenzy. He brought the house down, and was soon presented with a championship belt, the title of Ultimate Elvis 2013 from EPE, a check for $20,000 and tens of thousands of new fans.The year 2014 was a banner year for Dean, who received the Heart Of The King Award in Las Vegas at the former Las Vegas Hilton, on the same stage the Elvis himself performed over 700 shows during the 1970’s. He also fulfilled a childhood dream of performing for the flagship Legends In Concert production in Las Vegas at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino. Dean also had the pleasure of being a part of the national touring production Elvis Lives, a live musical highlighting Elvis’ career that features world champions from the Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ .