"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, 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, CANOPUS drums, EVANS heads, VATER sticks/brushes, TACKLE SUPPLY CO. bags and ROC-N-SOC drum thrones.
Photo Credit - Katie Sikora (KATIE SIKORA PHOTOGRAPHY)
Thank you to My Mother, My Father, Audrey, and all of my family for your unending support of me, your valued lessons and always pushing me to be the greatest spirit that I can be, always keeping God first in my life and sharing my light with the world, just as all of you do every single day! To be able to be in your presence and to be loved by all of you and for you to allow me to be a part of your lives every day are the greatest blessings I will ever know, and I take these blessings and lessons with me everywhere I go in this life! Thank you all for showing me the path toward greatness, even in my own heart and mind, and though I stumble many times - Thank you for never giving up on me and the path you all see for me.
All of My Love to You,