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Jazz: MICHAEL JEFRY STEVENS and Friends Appearing Wed Feb 7th 2018 at 7:30pm

$10 in advance

$12 at the door


Michael Jefry Stevens 
Wendy Jones
Frank Southecorvo 
Rick Dilling 
Craig Sandberg

Michael Jefry Stevens makes his home in Black Mountain NC, but he keeps his bags packed with his heavy touring schedule.  This past spring found Michael performing throughout Europe including concerts in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia.   This fall he'll be performing in Edmonton Canada, Seattle Washington, Grand Rapids Michigan, Lansing Michigan, Ann Arbor Michigan, Rochester New York, and several cities in Virginia.

When not performing in Europe or the United States, Michael can be found playing frequently throughout Western North Carolina.   Sometimes solo, sometimes in small combos, and sometimes in larger groups such as his new Chamber Jazz Ensemble. 

Over the past 40 years Pianist/Composer Michael Jefry Stevens has been associated with some of the most important figures in modern jazz.

Beginning with his first CD release in 1991 as a member of Mark Whitecage's Liquid Time Group, Mr. Stevens has been in the forefront of the NYC and international improvised music scene. 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 voted one of the best 1000 jazz recordings by the 2011 Penguin Guide to Jazz.

This rhythm section went on to become the nucleus for Mr. Stevens working quartet the Fonda/Stevens Group. Since the quartet's inception in 1992, the Fonda/Stevens Group has released 12 cds, repeatedly toured Europe and is one of the most successful working modern jazz groups on the international scene. 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 80 cds.

Michael Jefry Stevens has composed over 320 works for various ensembles, including big band, string quartet, music for voice, music for solo instruments and various small group compositions.   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 the AAPF (Asheville Area Piano forum).

Wendy Jones is a professional vocalist and recording artist who has been delivering smart and arresting performances to the mountains of Western NC and in the process has become one of the most popular artists in the region. She consistently receives accolades for her energetic and distinctive performances of gypsy jazz , jazz standards, modern jazz, and original jazz.

A versatile vocalist, Wendy has appeared on stages from Chicago to Tokyo and performed with artists such as NEA Jazz Master Jamey Aebersold, legendary jazz guitarist Howard Alden, Crystal Gale, and has sung backup for the alternative hip hop group Deltron 3030. In Spring of 2017, she appeared at the JAZZ ROOM in Charlotte, NC with the Page Brothers for a tribute to Django Reinhardt.

In addition to singing regularly with the Page Brothers Gypsy Jazz Quartet, she performs with her own jazz quartet, the Michael Jefry Stevens Trio, The Steve Watson Trio, and is the featured vocalist with the Asheville Jazz Orchestra and the Richard Shulman Quartet.

In the fall of 2017 she completed a recording with pianist/composer Richard Shulman that features his original music.

Drummer Rick Dilling has 43 years of experience playing jazz with such notable players as Clark Terry, Ernie Watts, Herb Ellis, Phil Woods, Houston Persons and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. He is been a member of the jazz faculty of Appalachian State University for the past 25 years.

Rick performs regularly in the Todd Wright Quartet, the Michael Jeffery Stevens Trio, the Wendy Jones Quartet , the Asheville Jazz Orchestra as well as many of the areas top jazz artist.

“From big band, to swing, to bebop, to original music, Rick’s knowledge of and expertise in playing many jazz styles enables him to always passionately and tastefully serve the music and the artists with whom he shares the stage.
“More importantly, he’s there for the music first — not for himself. For me, this is the most desirable and admirable trait of any performer; and precisely what elevates Rick to the level of a true artist.”   ~ Vocalist Wendy Hayes

Frank Southecorvo grew up in Massachusetts, where he studied with saxophonists Dave Faucher and Jerry Bergonzi. Boston is a city with a real jazz heritage. While growing up, Frank was inspired by the many jazz icons he got to hear in clubs and concerts – musicians like Phil Woods, Sonny Rollins, Pat Metheny, Bob Moses, Gary Burton, Bobby Gullotti, George Garzone, Jerry Bergonzi, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Betty Carter, Joe Pass, Abdullah Ibrahim, Max Roach, Jon Hendricks, Dexter Gordon and countless others.

In 1987 he moved to Asheville, NC , where fans have heard Frank’s saxophone playing in his own jazz bands, as well as with the horn sections of various rhythm + blues and jazz big bands. Frank has played many concerts and festivals throughout the area, including the Inman Park Festival (Atlanta, GA), Jazz Composers Forum, Asheville Original Music series, WNC Jazz Society, Bele Chere, Jazz & Blues Festival (Wilmington, NC), Music On Main (Greenville, SC), Jazz On the Square (Spartanburg ,SC).

Frank has always been interested in writing and playing original music. Since 2013, Frank has been playing with the trio Up Jumped Three which is dedicated to playing the compositions of each of its members: Bryan White — bass, Frank Southecorvo — saxophones, Tim Winter — guitar. Up Jumped Three has recorded two CDs: Crosstalk (2017) and Eleven Dialogues (2016).

He has recorded three Cd’s as leader:”Chelsea Bridge” (2000) a duo with pianist Mark Freundt, “Anthem” (2000) and and “Chroma”(2005), with a five piece band and has written music for many other CDs, including, “Talisman” (2014), with guitarist Rob Dame and the self-titled recording with the band Voice of the Turtle (1993), which he co-led with guitarist Alan Childres.

Currently, he plays alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, splitting his time between his own projects playing original music and big bands, blues bands and dance groups.