Michael Jefry Stevens
71 year old professional jazz pianist/composer/bandleader.
I was born in New York City in and received my MA in Music from
Queens College in 1992 where I studied with Jimmy Heath, Sir
Roland Hanna, Thea Musgrave, Sol Berkowitz and Donald Byrd.
I was the Margaret Lee Crofts Fellow at The MacDowell Colony
in the summer of 2000 and received 2nd prize in the prestigious
Monaco International Jazz Composition. I was voted Best Composer of 2016 in
North Carolina and received a 2017 Regional Artist Grant.
I was on the faculty of Five Towns College between 1992-95,
was head of the keyboard department at the National Guitar
Workshop between 1990-2002 in New Milford, CT, was on the faculty of
Rhodes College (TN) between 2007-2011 and just recently joined the Music Faculty
Tennessee State University (2018). I taught every Fall for
one week at EMU conservatory in La Plata, Argentina. between 2006-2013.
I have been guest clinician and artist in residence at numerous educational
here and abroad including the Royal Academy of Music in Arhus, Denmark, Centro
de las Artes in Mexico City (Mexico), Arizona State University in Tempe (AZ),SUNY
Paltz (NY), Lichtenstein Big Band Workshop inEschen (Lichtenstein), Syracuse
The Universityof Michigan (Ann Arbor), Indiana University (Bloomington),University
(Iowa City), Northern Illinois University(DeKalb), University of Richmond (VA), and
University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA).
I have been and continue to be an active pianist/composer and band leader for the
years. I have released over 100 cds of my original music on numerous jazz record
includingLeo Records (England), Drimala Records (VA), Soul Note Records (Italy),
Records Germany), Music and Arts (CA), Cadence Records (NY), Red Toucan
GMRecordings (MA), 482 Music (NY), Nottwo Records (Poland) and most recently
recordings (USA). Over 100 of my more than 360 original composed works
have been recorded and are regularly broadcast throughout the world. My
music has been featured in live radio concerts throughout Europe, Japan and
North America including BRTN (Belgium), Saarbrucken Rundfunk (Germany), WDR
Radio (Germany), Radio Bremen (Germany), Radio Zurich (Switzerland), VPRO Radio
Amsterdam (Holland), BRF Radio (Belgium), DanmarksRadio (Arhus, Denmark) and
I currently co-lead several working musical ensembles including
The Fonda/Stevens Group, Conference Call Quartet, Eastern Boundary
Quartet as well as my own trio and small group. I frequently tour both Europe and
America and was a featured performer recently at several international
jazz festivals including the Edgefest in AnnArbor (MI), and the Earshot Jazz Festival
(WA). I have also performed at the Guelph Jazz Festival (Canada), the Ottawa
Jazz Festival (Canada), Jazzmeille Thuringen(Germany), San Sebastian International
Festival (Spain),Jazz Halo (Belgium, the Kaunas International Jazz Festival (Lithuania,
Bolzano International Jazz Festival (Italy), May Days Festival (Norway) and many
I lived in Brooklyn, NY between 1980 and 2002. Lived in Memphis between
2002 and 2011 and currently reside in Black Mountain, NC. I continue to tour, teach
and record both internationally and nationally and am currently on the faculty of
Johnson City, TN.
My Jazz Story
Published on: 2016-04-09
I love jazz because it is the most free and personal expression of one's self that I have ever come across in my entire life.
I was first exposed to jazz through records in high school through a good friend of mine whose father was a classical pianist.
The best show I ever attended was Weather Report back in the late 1970's. The first jazz record I bought was Miles Davis,
"Kind of Blue."
My advice to new listeners is to go hear the music live! This art form requires a relationship between the musicians and the
audience which can only take place in a live performance situation.
My House Concert Story
I am artistic director of two house concert series, one in Western North Carolina and another in the Memphis, TN area. The WNC
series has been
running for11 years. The Memphis house concert series has been running for over 20 years. The next Memphis Jazz Salon will take
place on Sunday, September 18. The WNC series is still on hold due to the Covid epidemic.