At age three-and-a-half Dylan began taking banjo lessons. Not long afterwards, his parents took him to the Montreal Forum to see his favourite group at the time: ABBA. Thankfully, his fascination with banjo declined relatively quickly. He has, however, maintained a soft spot for ABBA (this is due in large part, no doubt, to his Australian heritage). After flirting briefly with violin and piano (as well as being cruelly forced to play clarinet while at F.A.C.E. elementary school) Dylan, at the age of twelve, began to play electric bass. His earliest musical mentors consisted of local soca/reggae stalwarts Jab Jab (with Andre Whiteman on bass), rhythm & blues drummer Graham Chambers and guitarist/vocalist Kat Dyson. According to Dylan, “I was really lucky in that my mom had a lot of professional musician friends who I got to interact with and see play – even before I was old enough to go to clubs. Andre from Jab Jab gave me my first tips on bass and those guys were the first band I ever sat in with live on stage. My introduction to soca, calypso, zouk and compa – that was through Jab Jab. And then there was Graham Chambers. Graham was storing his record collection at my parents’ house and that’s where I got to listen to albums by artists such as Chic, Weather Report, Miles Davis, Lonnie Liston-Smith, Billy Cobham and Yellow Magic Orchestra. He sort of took me under his wing and taught me a lot about not just R&B, but music in general – and what it means to have musical integrity”.
By his mid-teens Dylan was studying with soon-to-be-renowned bassist Rhonda Smith. Those lessons were cut short, however, when Rhonda (along with Kat Dyson) left town to go play with Prince. Dylan later studied with Don Habib (Concordia University) and with Hansford Rowe (Gong, Mike Oldfield).
While completing a bachelor’s degree in music at Concordia University Dylan met guitarist Cécile Doo-Kingué and soon afterwards co-founded the band Dibondoko. “Dibondoko was a fun band and we played quite a lot. This was just before the end of the live R&B scene in Montreal, where you still had enough places to play to stay relatively busy. Our sound covered a lot of territory influence-wise and we were equally at home playing R&B clubs as we were, for example, playing an African club”, says Dylan.
In addition to being an active band on the Montreal club scene, Dibondoko was a regular at popular local festivals such as the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Nuits D’Afrique festival (where, in addition to headlining, they also opened for Senegalese superstar Youssou N’Dour as well as for Cameroonian legend Manu Dibango). During this time Dylan also toured Canada as part of the Just For Laughs Festival house band and recorded an album with ex-Cherrypickers vocalist and guitarist Mick O’Grady.
Following the breakup of Dibondoko in 2006, Dylan played with R&B vocalist Stacie Tabb in Soulfish and also joined the Shane Murphy trio. He then joined top corporate events/wedding band Montreal Rhapsody Orchestra (with whom he backed U.S. hip-hop legends The Sugarhill Gang and Juno award winner Deborah Cox). After several years with the Montreal Rhapsody Orchestra Dylan left that band to play with the newly formed Montreal Backbeat Showband (with whom he continues to play).
In 2009, while playing with singer/songwriter Sarah Toussaint-Leveillé, Dylan reconnected with Ramon Cespedes, the singer from Dibondoko. Cespedes had recently formed the world/fusion band Kebeko and was in need of a bassist to record a demo and play some upcoming festivals. Dylan has been playing with Kebeko ever since. Over the last few years, Dylan’s primary live projects have included Kebeko, the Montreal Backbeat Showband, the Cécile Doo-Kingué Trio, the Montreal Rhapsody Orchestra, and the Uprising Band (which backs both local and international reggae artists).
Other artists that Dylan has performed or recorded with include The Mighty Diamonds (Jamaica), Samito, Elie Haroun (La Voix), Tinga Stewart (Jamaica), Kandy Guira (France/Burkina Faso), Emma Frank, Karim Saada, David Kakon (as Jaffa), DJ Fred Everything, Skipper Dean & Soulstream, The New Mastersounds (remix album), Freddie James, Jah Bouks (Jamaica), General Trees (Jamaica), Jonas, Leroy Gibbons (Jamaica), King Shadrock, Mello G, Bombolessé, Jah Cutta, Abdou M’Baye, Stephen Johnston’s Sojo project, Steve Rowe, Lou Simon, Alan Prater and Kalmunity.