Blue has always inspired me. Blue reaches into the depths and reminds you of the limitless – sea, sky, space... Blue also invokes the unexpected, the "blue notes" in jazz. I'd love to share with you my dream to "Play it Blue."
– Dean Altstaetter
Pianist Dean Altstaetter grew up in Northwest Ohio. As a piano performance major, he studied classical music with Marvin Blickenstaff at Goshen College, IN. He studied piano teaching at The Ohio State University with Donald Gren, and music theory/composition with Marilyn Shrude and jazz with Russell Schmidt at Bowling Green State University. He has recorded in Nashville and has toured nationally with the gospel music group "Presence" and regionally with the group "Signature Quartet." He has performed with the Vernon Neeley Quartet, Hepcat Revival, the Lima Symphony Orchestra, and the Lima Area Concert Band. He has appeared with guitarist Jim Boedicker and saxophonist Blue Lou Marini.
As a lecturer of music, Dean served on the piano faculty at Ohio Northern University for 13 years. On the weekends, Dean plays keyboards with the local rock band, "The Hipnotix"; the Fleetwood Mac tribute band, "Fleetwood 2 the Max"; "Takin' it Back"; or a retro jazz group called "The Pinup Project."
Dean starred June 8-9, 2013, in the one-man production chronicling the career and life of Liberace, who combined classical and popular music with glitzy showmanship. He was honored for his work in the Brent Hazelton production, "Liberace – Meet the Man Behind the Grand," directed by Becky Engel at the Holland Theater in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Altstaetter was named Best Actor in the community theatre show's category of the Windmill Awards, presented May of 2014.
More recently, Dean has graduated from Bluffton University with an MBA in the Collaborative Master of Business Administration program in May of 2020.
He is the principle organist/pianist at Trinity United Methodist Church in Lima, Ohio. In his solo performances, he offers a wide range of music, including vocal standards, show tunes, jazz, blues, and has expanded on the traditional lounge repertoire to include classic rock, R & B, and some of today's hits by request. From piano to small jazz ensembles to classic rock bands, Dean and his team of talented Play It Blue musicians have performed for and worked with satisfied clients for events and weddings across the Midwest.