Michael Jefry Stevens

Michael Jefry Stevens

Email: mjsjazz@mac.com
Website: http://michaeljefrystevens.com
Address: P.O. Box 164, Black Mountain, NC 28711 USA
 

During the thirty years I have been teaching children of all ages, teenagers through post graduate students and retirees, I have developed a teaching philosophy. I function as a guide for the student, enabling each individual to follow his or her unique musical path, in order to develop to his or her distinctive voice. As Arnold Schoenberg states in his Theory of Music, “This book I have learned from my pupils.” While everyone needs to study technique, theory, and repertoire, I am equally interested in assisting each student to pursue his or her individual musical and extra-musical interests. My expertise, honed during forty years of playing and composing, is in modern jazz improvisation, repertoire, theory, composition, and ensemble performance. I act as a guide for my students in supporting, encouraging, and guiding them. Lessons are intensive and normally occur on a bi-weekly basis. “I have known Michael for more than ten years as a musician, performer, and educator. We first met when he came to Aarhus to work with our students at the Musikkonservatorium in 1998. His program was so successful that we were very pleased when he was able to return on a number of occasions to teach clinics and conduct concerts with our students. I have observed Michael to be a very creative, prolific, and innovative artist who has a charismatic way of sharing his enthusiasm for jazz with students and audiences from diverse populations. He has an insightful way of recognizing the individual strengths of his musicians, and creating opportunities for them to reach their highest level of performance.” Jens Christian Jensen Head of Rhythmical Studies Royal Academy of music Aarhus, Denmark “Michael is a consummate musician. Michael has a superb ability to offer highly practical advice as well as deal with more philosophical, aesthetic issues that are also important to aspiring (as well as of course established) artists. I also witnessed Michael’s teaching on several occasions in which he has coached combos consisting of some of the most talented young musicians in the world. Students in his groups have regularly raved about his teaching.” Edward W. Sarath, Professor of Music The University of Michigan “Having taught with Michael in several clinic situations over the past 20 years, as well as asked my share of musical questions of him as well, I can absolutely state that Michael is a master teacher and communicator of music thought. He is always able to project his intensive melodic lyricism in both his soloing and his compositions. I highly recommend Michael with the greatest enthusiasm to any artistic, musical or educational situation.” Jeff Siegel Adjunct Professor of Music Western Connecticut State University “Michael is a consummate musician. He is a great jazz improviser and a wonderful composer and orchestrator. He is knowledgeable and well organized. Michael has a warm personality and is easy to work with. He is a natural teacher who takes a genuine interest in his students.” Dom Minasi Artistic Director CDM, Inc. Over the past 40 years Pianist/Composer Michael Jefry Stevens has been associated with some of the most important figures in modern jazz. Between 1988-1990 he co-led the now legendary "Mosaic Sextet" with Dave Douglas. This group included Mark Feldman on violin, Michael Rabinowitz on bassoon, and the rhythm section of Harvey Sorgen on drums and Joe Fonda on bass. Their "Today This Moment" CD release on Konnex Records and re-release on GM Recordings is considered one of the classic modern jazz recordings of the 1990’s and was recently voted one of the best 1000 jazz recordings by the Penguin Guide to Jazz. Mr. Stevens also began a very fruitful and fulfilling relationship with Leo Records with his duo "Haiku" CD release in 1994, featuring Mark Feldman on violin. These piano/violin improvisations proved to be a pivotal link between Mr. Stevens work in both the composed and improvised music worlds. Mr. Stevens has currently released nine cd’s on Leo Records, including "Elements" with bassist Dominic Duval, and "Twelve Improvisations" with the Fonda/Stevens Group. To date he has released over 75 cds. Michael Jefry Stevens has composed over 400 works for various ensembles, including big band, string quartet, music for voice, music for solo instruments and various small group compositions. Mr. Stevens was the Margaret Lee Crofts Fellow at "The MacDowell Colony" in the summer of 2000, received 2nd prize in the prestigious Monaco International Jazz Composition in 1998, and was a composer fellow at the Centrum Arts Colony in Port Townsend, WA in June 2005. In 2009 Mr. Stevens was named a “Steinway” Performing Artist (the first ever for the City of Memphis). He is currently resides in Asheville, NC and is artist-in-residence every November at the jazz workshop at EMU in La Plata, Argentina Michael Jefry Stevens is truly a believer in the global music community and a vocal exponent of an international music. He is a member of the IASJ (International Association of Schools of Jazz), ISIM (International Society of Impovised Music) and JEN (Jazz Educators Network).

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