Michael Jefry Stevens

Conference Call Quartet

The band:

  • Gebhard Ullmann - reeds,
  • Joe Fonda - bass,
  • Michael Jefry Stevens - piano,
  • Dieter Ulrich - drums

(past drummers include Matt Wilson, Han Bennink, Gerry Hemingway and George Schuller).

Conference Call Quartet

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About Conference Call Quartet

This international quartet has been together since 1998 and features German composer and woodwind virtuoso Gebhard Ullmann, bassist Joe Fonda, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens, and Dieter Ulrich on drums performing original music by all of the group members. The group has performed numerous tours in Europe as well as the USA including performances at the Guelph International Jazz Festival, Seattle's Earshot Jazz Festiva, the Braga Jazz Festival in Portugal, the Nattjazz Festival in Bergen, Norway, the Bolzano Jazz Festival in Italy, the Discover US Festival in Berlin, Germany and most recently the Just Music Festival in Weisbaden, Germany (2015). The quartet has released 7 CD's on the following labels: Soul Note Records, Leo Records, 482 Music, Clean Feed Records and their most recent CD "Seven" on Nottwo Records (2015).  The quartet will be back on tour in the USA and Canada in October, 2016.

Pianist/Composer Michael Jefry Stevens performs extensively in Europe and North America. He was the 'Margaret Lee Crofts Fellow for 2000-2001 " at the MacDowell Artist Colony, received 2nd prize in the prestigious Monaco International Jazz Composition Contest and was a composer fellow at Centrum Arts in Port Townsend, WA in the summer of 2006. Michael currently co-leads several working musical ensembles including The Fonda/Stevens Group, the Conference Call Quartet, Eastern Boundary Quartet, Southern Excursion Quartet, In transit Quartet, and the Griffith/Stevens Quartet featuring vocalist Miles Griffith. He has released over 60 cds which feature his original music including most recently "What About...?" on Nottwo Records and"Six" on Konnex Records.. Artists he has performed and/or recorded with include Dave Douglas, Mark Feldman, Han Bennink, Charles Moffett, Cecil Bridgewater, Valery Ponomarev,, Gerry Hemingway, Miles Griffith, Leo Smith, Thomas Chapin, Gebhard Ullmann, Herb Robertson,, Matt Wilson, Dominic Duval and Dave Liebman.

Bassist/composer Joe Fonda has developed an extensive international reputation over the last several years recording and touring with the world-reknowned Anthony Braxton including performances at some of the world's most prestigious jazz festivals including the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Istanbul International Jazz Festival. He is also featured bassist on numerous recordings with Mr. Braxton including the famed Charlie Parker Project Recordings as well as the piano quartet recordings with Braxton on piano. Mr. Fonda has performed with such notable musicians as Ken McIntyre, Charlie Persip, Lou Donaldson, Perry Robinson, Kenny Barron, Leo Smith, Curtis Fuller, Chico Hamilton and others. He recently recorded his first solo bass CD and has released numerous CDs on the Konnex jazz label, Leo Records and Music and Arts label. He is the co-founder of the FAB trio featuring Barry Altschul and Billy Bang.

Saxophonist, bass clarinetist and composer Gebhard Ullmann has recorded more than 30 CDs as a leader/co-leader for labels such as Soul Note, Leo Records, Between the Lines, 482 Music, Songlines Recordings and Intuition Records. He is considered one of the leading personalities in today's international jazz scene and has received several awards for his work including the Julius Hemphill Composition Award ('99), and the nomination "best jazz CD of the year" by the German Schallplattenkritik for his CD "Tá Lam" in 1996. He has toured extensively with his music and performed on most of the world's most prestigious jazz festivals. Musicians he has performed or recorded with include Paul Bley, Ellery Eskelin, Willem Breuker, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Barry Altschul, Keith Tippett,Glen Moore,TrilokGurtu, EnricoRava, Michael Moore, Art LandeandHamid Drake.

Dieter Ulrich (Percussion/Composer) joined the quartet in 2015. Dieter Ulrich is a Swiss jazz and improvisation musician and art historian. Zurich born and raised. Piano trained. Plays drums since 1972 and is self-taught. Since 1975 he has played with Harald Haerter, Kurt Grämiger, Nathanael Su, Urs Blöchlinger, Werner Lüdi, Hans Koch, Bob Mover, Trevor Watts, Urs Voerkel, Co Streiff, Vinny Golia, Alfred Zimmerlin, Claudia Ulla Binder, Tom Varner, Jacques Siron, Christoph Baumann, Dave Taylor, Jürg Solothurnmann, Glenn Ferris, Luten Petrofsky, Sri.N.S. Krishna Murthy, Dr. L. Subramanian and others. Ulrich has also collaborated on the following multi-media projects with Daniel Mouthon; "Wasteland" 1986, "Finnabout" 1991, "air à l'en verre" an opera project for the Theaterhaus Gessnerallee in Zürich 1997.  Dieter is one of the most sought after Swiss improvising musicians and composers.  A sampling of his large discography include:

Urs Blöchlinger: Neurotica (Hathut Records, 1984); Werner Lüdi: Serendipity (Creative Works Records, 1987); Day & Taxi All (Percaso, 1991); Nat Su: At Ellington (Jecklin, 1998);Truss Zimmerlin-Ulrich: Out of a Suitcase (MGB, 1998); Cheaper Bauer: The Silence behind Each Cry (Intakt Records, 2001; Friedli-Streiff-Schlegel-Ulrich: objets trouvés. Fragile (Intact, 2005) and many others.


Recordings by Conference Call Quartet

Projects - International

Play demo tracks

Selected videos

Conference Call quartet live in Switzerland 2009. "Dreierlei" by Gebhard Ullmann

Conference Call Quartet "Could this be a Polka"

Conference Call Live from Torhout, Belgium

Conference Call Quartet Live from Germany 2012

Conference Call Live from Germany 2012