Dayna Stephens Quartet
Dayna Stephens, saxophone; Geoffrey Keezer, piano; Harish Raghavan,
bass; Albert “Tootie” Heath, drums
Tuesday, July 22 | 7:30 pm | Campbell Recital Hall
Tickets: $20 general | $10 students
By phone: 650.725.ARTS (2787); In Person: Stanford
For more information, go to our Ticketing
“Just when the brilliant young jazz musician
seems to come into focus, he reveals another facet of his already improbably
expansive musical gift.” – San Diego Union-Tribune
Brooklyn-born and Bay Area-raised, Dayna Stephens is a young saxophonist
with something to say—and some of the biggest names in jazz are
listening. Described by Tom Harrell as “a total genius,” Dayna
has performed with an impressive list of artists, including Kenny Barron,
Carlos Santana, Roy Hargrove, and Stevie Wonder. His tone on the tenor
saxophone is warm and rich and he can build the energy in an improvisation
to dizzying heights with terse, urgent phrasing rather than technical
bombast. After attending the Berklee College of Music, Dayna was accepted
to the prestigious Thelonious Monk institute in southern California.
The institute’s intensive two-year program offered him the chance
to study and play with, among others, Dave Holland, Wayne Shorter, Herbie
Hancock, and John Scofield (who also appears on Dayna’s 2007 album The Timeless Now). A multifaceted musician, Dayna is also an accomplished
bassist and a prolific composer with a distinctive style.
Supported by Joan Talbert & David Lyon
Stephens web site
Q&A with Dayna Stephens
What is the first recording you remember hearing as a child?
“Thriller” by Michael Jackson.
Who is your favorite jazz musician under the age of 30?
What job would you have if you weren’t
a jazz musician?
What’s the strangest experience you’ve
ever had on the bandstand?
A wedding with a guitarist, a singer, and a computer.
What’s your favorite food?
What’s the most exotic place you’ve
traveled to as a musician?
What’s the last book you’ve
The autobiography of Jimmy Scott.
If you could play with any other musician, living or dead
(with whom you have not played), who would it be and why?
Keith Jarrett, because you rarely hear him out of his world.
your favorite tune?
What’s your favorite jazz venue?
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, in NYC (the view and vibes are awesome).
What’s your favorite thing
about being a Stanford Jazz Workshop faculty member?
Hearing the next generation quickly grow and evolve over the week
Who is your greatest musical influence?
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have
three recordings with you, what would they be?
“The Bridge” by Sonny Rollins, “Enemies of Energy” by
Rosenwinkel, and “Hail to the Thief” by Radiohead.
How much do you practice each week?
2–20 hours per week.
What hobbies do you have?
Biking, cooking, and Youtube.
If you could be any other type of artist other than a jazz
musician, what would you be and why?
Actor, because I fear it the most.
When did you become interested in music, and what circumstances
or events led to your becoming a professional musician?
I’ve always liked music and tried piano at 8, but I saw Joshua
Redman live at the old Yoshi’s when I first started the sax at
I knew then it was something I would always want to be a part of.
If you were to describe your music
as a color, what color would it be and why?
Different songs and musicians give off different colors, but I am
hearing a lot of blues and yellows lately.