|Full Name||Dean Mitchell|
|Birthday||August 9, 1969|
|Birthplace||Rhode Island, USA|
|Social Media||YouTube – TikTok – Instagram – Twitter|
Dean Mitchell, aka Saxsquatch, is an American musician known for his Bigfoot costume and saxophone covers of popular songs. He was formerly with The Marcus King Band.
The Saxophonist Behind the Squatch – Dean Mitchell‘s Career
Before becoming an internet phenomenon as Saxsquatch, Dean Mitchell had an extensive career as a professional saxophonist. He grew up playing music in Rhode Island before honing his skills at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.
After graduating from Berklee, Mitchell toured with legendary funk/R&B band Tower of Power in the late 1980s. He was able to perform with the group at acclaimed venues like Radio City Music Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.
In the 1990s and 2000s, Mitchell was part of popular jazz groups including:
- The Duke Robillard Band
- The Walter Trout Band
- The Steven Tyler Band
Most recently, Mitchell was a touring member of The Marcus King Band from 2016-2018. He played saxophone and keyboards with the fast-rising blues rock group, sharing stages with icons like Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes.
The Origins of Saxsquatch
The idea for Saxsquatch first came to Mitchell during the solar eclipse in August 2017. While camping out to see the eclipse in the secluded wilderness, he felt inspired by his lush natural surroundings.
Mitchell happened to have a hairy Bigfoot Halloween costume laying around, and he came up with the crazy idea to combine the costume with his love of spontaneous saxophone improvisation.
Thus, the mythical character Saxsquatch was born!
Mitchell established Saxsquatch as a "wandering Sasquatch who plays the saxophone." He came up with a fanciful backstory about Saxsquatch learning saxophone deep in the forest from a mysterious jazz master named Forest Stemzuli.
This quirky narrative allowed Saxsquatch to develop his own mythos as a musical cryptid lurking in the woods.
The Saxsquatch Costume and Persona
The iconic Saxsquatch outfit brings a hairy, humanoid beast to life. Mitchell wears a full body brown fur suit complete with realistic Bigfoot features like:
- Huge feet and giant hands
- Muscular arms and legs
- Fierce yeti mask and head
- Detailed ape-like face
To get into character, Mitchell speaks in a gruff, gravelly voice and roams around the forest seeking musical inspiration. This adds to the immersive illusion that you‘re watching a real saxophone-playing creature out in the wilderness.
Beyond the costume, Saxsquatch has a playful, improvisational personality. He often interacts with nature – making various howls, grunts, and squatch calls as he jams out on his sax. This injects a sense of humor and spontaneity into his videos.
Rise to Viral Fame on Social Media
Mitchell first introduced Saxsquatch in 2017 by uploading quirky performance videos to Facebook. These DIY-style clips showing Saxsquatch randomly playing sax in the woods quickly went viral.
Within a year, the Saxsquatch profiles amassed millions of engaged followers across platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.
Fans just couldn‘t get enough of this hairy, sax-wielding cryptid! Some of Saxsquatch‘s most popular early viral hits include:
- Smooth jazz cover of "Careless Whisper"
- Epic saxophone version of Europe‘s "Final Countdown"
- Funky rendition of the Benny Hill theme song
In 2021, Saxsquatch‘s TikTok account truly exploded after posting an improvised jazz version of the Pixar song "When She Loved Me." This emotional sax cover earned over 30 million views on TikTok in just a few weeks!
Since then, Saxsquatch has continued churning out viral sax videos on TikTok and collaborating with major artists. This Bigfoot legend is now cemented as one of social media‘s most popular music creators.
Saxsquatch‘s Musical Style and Improv Skills
From bluesy jazz to epic pop anthems, Saxsquatch displays impressive versatility with his saxophone playing abilities. He‘s masterful at switching between mellow, smooth jazz tones and rapid, funky improvisations.
According to Dean Mitchell, he approaches the Saxsquatch character as an opportunity for unbound musical freedom. The anonymity of being in a full costume allows him to take risks and follow his creative impulses in the moment.
Saxsquatch incorporates extended techniques like growling, tongue slaps, and shrill altissimo to punctuate his playing. This dynamic sax style gives his covers and improvs an edgy, squatchy vibe.
Best Saxsquatch Performances
Here are some of my personal favorite Saxsquatch performances that highlight his uncanny skills:
- Careless Whisper – One of his first viral hits, this smooth jazz cover is sublime.
- Bohemian Saxody – An epic, dramatized version of Queen‘s "Bohemian Rhapsody" masterpiece.
- When She Loved Me – This emotional Pixar cover launched Saxsquatch to TikTok fame.
- Game of Thrones Theme – He nails the iconic theme with added beatboxing flair.
The Making of a Social Media Legend
In just a few short years, Saxsquatch has risen from an obscure passion project to one of the most viral music acts on social media. Some key factors in Saxsquatch‘s legend status include:
- The instantly memorable and loveable Squatch costume persona.
- Mitchell‘s pro-level sax skills and improvisational brilliance.
- Quirky, humor-filled performance videos.
- Emotive covers of songs people love.
- Relatability – Saxsquatch exhibits the free spirit in all of us!
- Active engagement with fans on all platforms.
Saxsquatch represents a newbreed of musician tailor-made for viral success in the internet age. And I for one can‘t wait to see what this mythical creature comes up with next!