Michael Jefry Stevens
67 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 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 currently teach every Fall for
one week at EMU conservatory in La Plata, Argentina. I have been guest clinician
and artist in residence at numerous educational institutions both here and abroad
including the Royal Academy of Music in Arhus, Denmark, "Centro Nacional de las
Artes in Mexico City (Mexico), Arizona State University in Tempe (AZ),
SUNY at New Paltz (NY), Lichtenstein Big Band Workshop in
Eschen (Lichtenstein), Syracuse University (NY), The University
of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Indiana University (Bloomington),
University of Iowa (Iowa City), Northern Illinois University
(DeKalb), University of Richmond (VA), University of Virginia
(Charlottesville, VA) and was composer in residence at Virginia Intermont
College (Bristol, VA) where my music was choreographed and performed with the
I have been and continue to be an active pianist/composer and
band leader for the past 30 years. I have released over 90 cds
of my original music on numerous jazz record labels including
Leo Records (England), Drimala Records (VA), Soul Note
Records (Italy), Konnex Records Germany), Music and Arts (CA),
Cadence Records (NY), Red Toucan Records (Canada), GM
Recordings (MA), 482 Music (NY), Nottwo Records (Poland) and most recently
ARC recordings (USA). Over 100 of my more than 400 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 Radio
I currently co-lead several working musical ensembles including
The Fonda/Stevens Group, Conference Call Quartet, Eastern Boundary
Quartet, Generations Quartet featuring Oliver Lake, and the Core-tet featuring
Dame Evelyn Glennie. I frequently tour both Europe and North
America and was a featured performer this past year at several international
jazz festivals including the Edgefest in Ann
Arbor (MI), the Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle (WA) and the Hurth
Jazznacht (Hurth, Germany). In recent years I have also performed at the
Guelph Jazz Festival (Canada), the Ottawa International Jazz Festival (Canada),
Jazzmeille Thuringen(Germany), San Sebastian International Jazz Festival (Spain),Jazz
Halo (Belgium, the Kaunas International Jazz Festival (Lithuania, the 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. Currently I teach at the Asheville
Music School and at my private home studio.
My Jazz Story
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.
- Andrew Hill - anything!!!
- Esparanza Spalding - anything!!!!
- Miles Davis - Nefertitti
- Bill Evans - The Bill Evans Album
- John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
- Bartok - Music for strings, percussion and celeste;
- Concerto for Orchestra
- Mahler - 4th Symphony (lieder)
- Keith Jarrett - My Song
- McCoy Tyner - Expansions
- Wayne Shorter - most everything
- Herbie Hancock - The Prisoner