"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)
"I always set out to play and learn with and from the masters of this music. The masters are the ones whom perfect themselves and their mastery of balanced sense of expression, the deeper truths of who they are. They have guided me to trust my own path, to find my own mastery with the right information and foresight - the joys and abundance, of self exploration - and in turn, learn the art of communication and expression, so that when one is on the bandstand with kindred souls, we recognize that we walk the same path, and become one sound of expression..."
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, Wayne Henderson, Mike Clark, Donald Harrison, Jr., Fred Wesley, Eric Reed, Oteil Burbridge, Bill Summers, Maceo Parker, Steve Turre, Jason Marsalis, Joey DeFrancesco, Stacy Dillard, Allen Toussaint, Kurt Elling, Germaine Bazzle, Wessell Anderson, Nicholas Payton, Herlin Riley, Steve Masakowski, Stephen Riley, Melissa Reaves, Raymond Williams, Delfeayo Marsalis, Dmitry Mospan, 9th Wonder, Roland Guerin, Bobby Shew, 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.
As an educator, Gordon guides young and advanced students with and towards the exact same wisdom. "It shows us who we are as people, as individuals - How well we come together for the larger cause." With 15+ years of touring, recording and performing - education is always at the forefront of the music, but not in just the intellectual process - The actual process of realization helps students (as does it Gordon) to pursue a life of steadfast learning and growth. "Music is a path, a journey - not really somewhere to get to, as if there is some sort of arbitrary end... Even in the end, the masters leave breadcrumbs so that we may pick up where they left off.."
Gordon resides in Charlotte, N.C., where he continues to pursue touring, performances, recording, composing and writing for groups to come in the future. The most recent incarnation of his quartet consists of Shaquim Muldrow (saxophone) Austin Johnson (piano) 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.
Peace and Blessings, Always,