Dayna Stephens Group; Monday, September 30, 2013


Dayna Stephens Group
Monday, September 30
Kuumbwa Jazz

“… the birth of a new cool.” – JazzTimes

Saxophonist Dayna Stephens has pursued an eclectic artistic path ranging from performances with Terence Blanchard and Gretchen Parlato to Carlos Santana and Stevie Wonder. A thoughtful player, Stephens favors melodic invention over flashy virtuosity, and it shows in his compositions and arrangements. He leads an excellent group of top players with Santa Cruz roots: Remy Le Boeuf – alto saxophone; Pascal Le Boeuf – piano; Joe Sanders –  bass; and Smith Dobson, Jr. – drums.  I’ll Take My Chances is the name of his fourth and most recent album.

Born in Brooklyn, in 1978, Stephens grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Encouraged by his father and his grandfather, he took up the tenor saxophone at the age of 12. Immediately smitten by its sound, Stephens approached practicing like an athlete training for the Olympics. His huge appetite for learning everything about music led to participating in jazz programs at UC Berkeley, Oakland’s Golden Gate Library, and the Stanford Jazz Workshop. At the Stanford Jazz Workshop he studied with esteemed jazz pianist Kenny Barron. He attended Berkeley High School and played in the same music programs that nurtured the talents of Berkeley High alumni Benny Green and Joshua Redman. After graduation, he was performing with Bay Area professionals before heading off to Boston’s Berklee School of Music on a full scholarship. At this time, Stephens was diagnosed with a rare disease affecting his kidneys, a condition for which he receives ongoing treatment. Despite his medical condition, he forged ahead with his studies.

After graduating Berklee, Stephens was chosen to attend the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz where he was mentored by Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and Dave Holland. Since then, as a sideman, he has cultivated a brilliant career appearing with Kenny Barron, Idris Mohammed, Matt Wilson, Geoffrey Keezer, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Oliver Lake, Roy Hargrove, Stefon Harris, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Peter Apfelbaum, Ozomatli, Patrice Rushen, Tom Harrell, Reuben Rogers, Gregory Hutchinson, Josh Roseman, Ray Drummond, and Winard Harper. In 2007, Dayna released his debut album, The Timeless Now, with an all-star lineup of John Scofield, Taylor Eigsti, Nick Vayenas, Ben Street, and Eric Harland. It was an auspicious release with a distinctive sound that won critical accolades, quickly rising to #11 on the Billboard jazz charts. National Public Radio (NPR) included it on their Top-Ten Jazz Jewels of 2007. To top it all off, Downbeat magazine awarded The Timeless Now a much coveted four-star review. His latest recording, I’ll Take My Chances, on the Criss Cross label, features guitarist Charlie Altura; pianist Gerald Clayton; bassist Joe Sanders; drummer Bill Stewart; and guest vocalist Becca Stevens.

Born and raised in Santa Cruz, the Le Boeuf’s were encouraged by their parents to develop their musical abilities. Now, as mature performers, Remy and Pascal exemplify the post-jazz/fusion generation whose predilection for musical genre-jumping creatively re-employs the jazz tradition as a platform for innovative composition. Their fresh approach has paid off with critical raves and several awards, including Best Album & Best Song of the 2006 Independent Music Awards, and 1st place in the 2010 International Songwriting Competition. Additionally, the brothers have established themselves among the up-and-coming musicians of the New York jazz elite and have performed at several major jazz venues, including the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Umbria Jazz Festival, and Jazz At Lincoln Center.

Dayna Stephens Group

DATE: Monday, September 30, 2013
VENUE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
PRICE: $15/Adv $18/Door
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at:
MORE INFO: or 831-427-2227 

Media contact:
Sandy Sloan

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