“Stephen Gordon is one of my favorite Jazz musicians that I've had the pleasure of playing with. He's not only a great drummer, but a fantastic pianist and brilliant composer as well.”
-guitarist/educator/Blue Note Recording Artist Steve Masakowski (Alvin "Red" Tyner/Ellis Marsalis/Danny Barker/Dianna Reeves/The Astral Project)
Born on July 4th, 1984, Gordon grew up listening to Gospel, Blues, Motown, R&B, Soul, Funk/Fusion, Rock, and some Country music. His love of Jazz can be traced back to hearing the elements of Blues and Swing in church, and shortly afterwards can recall being introduced to stride piano and the elemental great pianist of the turn of the 20th century like Jelly Roll Morton and Art Tatum by the age of 6. Gordon's first instrument was the piano, which turned into playing the trumpet, all brass instruments, some woodwinds, and then onto the drums at the age of 12. It was at the age of 15 when he first saw trumpeter Terence Blanchard's Sextet live at The Afro-American Culture Center, that he knew that Jazz was the path. Gordon graduated from Northwest School of The Arts in Charlotte, N.C. in 2002, and immediately sought the path to New York City. Although he would attend Shenandoah Conservatory in 2003 (The Alma Mater of the great drummer Billy Drummond) and began working in the Washington D.C. area, and continued working in New York.
Although Jazz and Swing was Gordon's first love, his passion for the expression of good music would lead him to play in many different bands, crossing many different genres. His versatility and multi-instrumentation would open many doors for him, creating the path to be one of the most sought after musicians on multiple scenes, world-wide. Gordon would go on the perform, tour and record with musicians like Ellis Marsalis, Joey DeFrancesco, The Headhunters, Steve Turre, Donald Harrison, Jr., Bobby Shew, Cyrus Chestnut, Wayne Henderson, Mike Clark, Allen Toussaint, Wynton Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Kurt Elling, Jason Marsalis, Fred Wesley, Bill Summers, Dick Oatts, Raymond Williams, Peter Bernstein, Aaron Goldberg, Delfeayo Marsalis, Brice Winston, Nicholas Payton, Roland Guerin, Melissa Reaves, 9th Wonder, Talib Kweli, Maurice Brown, and The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, to name a few.
Over the years, Gordon has blazed trails into the territory of music that he loves - albeit Jazz, Swing, Funk/Fusion, even into the Electronica idioms. Being a drummer and a pianist, he says "They are both percussion instruments. I get asked all the time (Which one do I prefer playing?) - I always look at it as I always in the supportive role, rather it's melodically, harmonically, rhythmically... I support the vision, and even when the vision is my own, my role is always that of support.." You can hear him on records such as THE ELLIS MARSALIS QUINTET PLAYS THE MUSIC OF ELLIS MARSALIS (ELM Records 2017), MONDRE MOFFETT "ROYAL DECREE" (2006), JOHNNY SUMMERS meets THE ELLIS MARSALIS TRIO and THE SOLOS UNIT "RAP CITY", released in 2007.
Gordon resides in Charlotte, N.C., where he continues to teach, tour, perform, record, compose and write for some really heavy players in the international community, and for his groups and projects to come in the future. The most recent incarnation of his quintet consists of Rahsaan Barber (saxophones) Keith Ganz (guitars) Zachary Gossett, Jr. (piano/keyboards) and Michael Hawkins (acoustic bass).
I want to take a moment to share pure gratitude, joy and the abundance of the blessings of life, of God The Great Creator, and of pure, unconditional love, all through my beautiful parents and my family - Thank you for always showing me a beautiful life, the clarity of love, of faith and prayer, of hard work, of patience, of diligence, of kindness, of joy and acceptance, to always further my efforts towards that which is truly life - Truth. I am forever greater and the music that resonates within and outside of me and share is because of the love that you all have given to me, allowed me to receive through you and to pass along in this lifetime, and God willing in the coming after. I thank God every single day for all of you, our village, and our love that I pray will always shine brighter than the north star itself. It is with grace that you all have guided me, and your love has never been wasted, for I hope that each of you know that it is shared always through a smile, a word of kindness, a hug and a presence that has blessed me to travel all around the world to share. I will always be a greater being because of the experience I have, the experience I took with me and the experiences I venture forth into. I am forever thankful for all of you, that you stand by me, stand for joy, for love and clarity in this world and that your lights are never extinguished - May The Omnipotent One forever fuel your light, the candle you set forth with and shine all around you and through others.