"I fell in love with all the sounds I heard as a child, so I pursued them" says Drummer/Pianist/Composer STEPHEN GORDON of Charlotte, N.C. - "Rather it was Gospel music at church, Funk and Motown with my Dad, Rock and Metal with my friends, Swing or European Classical literature with my peers and colleagues - I did it all." From the age of 4 years old, it became apparent that young Stephen would emerge into the world bringing forth sound, art, visual perspectives and living melodies to all that he pursued. Through the piano, taking lessons from the age of 5 with many teachers of different perspectives at the guidance of his parents and family, Stephen began playing the trumpet at age 12, which ventured into all brass, woodwinds, and eventually the drums and percussion. "They wanted to expand the Mass Choir at church, so my Dad and I became the rhythm section - That will always be my favorite rhythm section: Me and my Dad." From traditional and contemporary Gospel music, Stephen began sitting in and eventually gigging around Charlotte as a drummer and a keyboardist. "It was the Swing that I heard that I wanted to pursue. When I saw Terence Blanchard Sextet live at 15 years old, I said - Yeah, that's what I want to do; Swing." This path would lead Stephen to graduate high school from Northwest School of The Arts in Charlotte, N.C. and pursue touring and traveling internationally/nationally. "I got so many opportunities to travel with the choir, that when it came to gigging and touring with bands and my friends, I didn't see a difference; I was still going after that sound." These opportunities would lead to Stephen traveling and living in many different places and playing with some of the musicians and educators pushing the forefront of this music - pianist Ellis Marsalis, Jr., drummer Mike Clark, organist Joey DeFrancesco, trombonist Wayne Henderson, trombonist Fred Wesley, pianist Cyrus Chestnut, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, Jr., percussionist Bill Summers, drummer/vibraphonist Jason Marsalis, alto saxophonist Wessell Anderson, vocalist Kurt Elling, pianist Aaron Goldberg, trumpeter Bobby Shew, trombonist Steve Turre, trumpeter Raymond Williams, Sr., bassist Roland Guerin, Poet Abidune Olyewole (The Last Poets), trombonist Tyrone Jefferson - to name a few. Stephen has performed in venues such as Tchaichovsky Hall in Moscow, Russia, The National Concert Hall in Taipei City, Taiwan, Opéra Bastille in Paris, France, The Kursk Philharmonia in Kursk, Russia, Lincoln Center in New York, New York, Ronnie Scott's in London, England, C Venues in Edinburgh, Scotland, The Village Vanguard, The Blue Note and The Jazz Standard in New York, New York, Blues Alley in DC, Babylon in Istanbul, Turkey, The North Sea Jazz Festival in Amsterdam, and many other great venues across the world. Beside playing and touring, recording and teaching have been prospects for Stephen to share in his talents and learn and grow as a musician and as a person. As 11th year musical director for the production "Miles & Coltrane: The Blue Sessions Period." written by OnQ Productions/Concrete Generation/Stephen Gordon (music), Stephen has had the opportunities to writing,and scoring for quintet/strings and an orchestra. "It's the celebration of Miles Davis and John Coltrane, the aspect of them playing together and also what they did separately, that made me want to take on this project in the writing and arranging of paying homage to the greats" Stephen says about the production alongside his good friend of 13+ years, Writer/Director Quentin Talley, Artistic Director of OnQ Productions. As Stephen resides in New Orleans, L.A., you may catch him all over the world on any given day, swinging and grooving. For all info, check out www.stephengordonmusic.com, as well as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram!
Stephen Gordon uses exclusively -
CYMBAL & GONG cymbals, TAMA drums, EVANS heads, VIC FIRTH sticks/brushes, TACKLE SUPPLY CO. bags and ROC-N-SOC drum thrones.
Photo Credit - Katie Sikora (KATIE SIKORA PHOTOGRAPHY)
I want to take a moment to say how much my heart and spirit are filled with 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 hard work, of patience, of diligence, of a resolute heart, of kindness, of joy and acceptance. I am forever a better human being and the music that I love 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. 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 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.
All of My Love to and by you,