Band: Stephen Gordon Group, Ellis Marsalis
STEPHEN R. GORDON, a native of Charlotte, N.C., began exploring the realms of artistry at the age of 4 years old, having his parents and relatives sign him up for formal piano study after hearing him pick out melodies of hymns they were singing in church. “I have to give the credit of growing up listening to great music to my parents and my family, they are the ones who hipped me to Gospel, R&B, Soul, Jazz and Folk music, and because of that extensive institution, I went on to find the music that inspired me to move forward every day, for the right reasons.” Having many artistic references from music to visual art to photography to musical theatre, Gordon pursued a path that has opened many opportunities for him and those around him. Gordon’s musical aspirations began to develop when he attended the prestigious Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte, N.C., actually having auditioned and accepted into the school as a visual artist, and began to play the trumpet and many of the instruments in the brass family in the award-winning Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and in many of the pit orchestras, and within a year, ventured into All-District and All-State Wind Ensembles, Symphonies and Big Band Jazz Ensembles within North Carolina. Upon graduating Northwest in 2002, Gordon continued to pursue the path of extensive traveling and touring, playing and forming relationships with some of the finest artists of this (and any) musical era – in respect – ranging throughout the genres, including musicians such as Ellis Marsalis, Jr., The Headhunters, Steve Turre, Mike Clark, Donald Harrison, Jr., Jason Marsalis, Shannon Powell (Harry Connick, Jr.), Dr. Mondre Moffett, Herlin Riley, Bill Summers, Bobby Shew, Cyrus Chestnut, Abiodun Oyewole (The Last Poets), Victor Atkins (Elvin Jones Jazz Machine), Adonis Rose (Nicholas Payton), Wessell Anderson (Wynton Marsalis), Wayne Henderson (The Crusaders), Delfeayo Marsalis & The Uptown Jazz Orchestra, Fred Wesley and Tyrone Jefferson (James Brown and the JB’s), Ivan Hampton (Janet Jackson), Camp Lo, Christian Scott, only to name a few. In 2003 at the age of 18, Gordon was selected as one of three finalist out of the nation of young pianists to compete for the pianist chair in a hand selected quintet forming The Brubeck Institute (in honor of pianist Dave Brubeck) at The University of the Pacific in Stockton, C.A., of which the musical direction was led by world renounded bassist Christian McBride (Sting, Joshua Redman) and J.B. Dyas. Instead, Gordon attended Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA to pursue Jazz/Classical piano and percussion. Throughout the years, Gordon has pursued the education of music to all ages, especially our young people. His teaching affiliations are thru The University of New Orleans, The New Orleans Jazz Institute, volunteering in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg public school system, Community School of the Arts, Queens University (Charlotte, NC), Central Piedmont Community College (Charlotte, NC), Smith Language Academy, and has had many opportunities to travel doing clinics and masterclasses at colleges and universities. Gordon states, “A true teacher is not one who indoctrinates the minds of their students with methods and reasons for the existence of knowledge; They are the one who intimately observe and liberate their student’s mind of self-limitations, therefore opening the windows of possibilities of the mind, that the student may envision and create their own opportunities.” Gordon also is the music director for the ninth season off-broadway production “Miles and Coltrane: The Blue Sessions” written/produced by On Q Productions/Concrete Generation/Stephen Gordon, which is constantly traveling nationwide and across the world.