Michael's Solo Piano
I started playing piano between the ages of five and six after hearing a piano on the radio. I heard jazz music for the first time at age seventeen, although I had already been playing in rock bands since the age of thirteen. By the time I was twenty, I had decided to dedicate my life to the pursuit of jazz.
I have been fortunate enough to collaborate with musicians from many walks of life, many nationalities and a variety of religions, including master saxophonist Oliver Lake (World Saxophone Quartet), vocalist Miles Griffith who was in Wynton Marsalis’ first opera, Charles Moffett Sr. (Ornette Coleman Trio), Dave Liebman who played with Miles Davis and Elvin Jones, Han Bennink, who played with Charlie Parker, Gerry Hemingway (Anthony Braxton Group), Leo Smith, Steve Wilson (Chick Corea Band), Valerie Ponomarev (Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers), Cecil Bridgewater who played with the Max Roach Group, trumpet player Dave Douglas and many others.
My music is characterized by a strong and haunting melodic sensibility coupled with an intricate harmonic sense, which includes various unorthodox rhythmic ideas. My roots span a wide variety of styles, including classical, jazz, funk, rock, R&B, blues, folk songs and vocal, avant-garde. My recent studies include Bartok folk songs, Bach Preludes and Fugues and Charlie Parker transcriptions.
I began performing as a solo pianist shortly after 9/11 when I was invited to perform several European solo piano concerts in France and Belgium. The “Survivor’s Suite” solo piano CD is a recording of the concert I performed in Belgium. The second solo piano recording was done at Tedesco Studios in New Jersey and is a mixture of completely free improvised music as well as several original piano compositions that I composed earlier in my career. The third solo piano CD was recorded at Archer Studios in Memphis, TN and is a collection of jazz standards.
Michael's solo piano videos
“Michael Jefry Stevens is a fluid player who finds his comfort level not only on the cool side but also through free jazz and instant improvisation. His touch is both delicate and hard hitting, stopping short of bombast when he ventures into the latter. His phrasing has an elegance, and while he does take a line at a tangent he does not let this alter his focus. Stevens suspends time and harmony; his lines arch and curve and fall in a splash of color. He unleashes bolts of thunder with his left hand and clasps melody in scintillating runs.”
Jerry D’Souza, All About Jazz