Internationally renowned saxophonist, composer, and educator Dayna Stephens has been described as a fluid, vigorous soloist with a warm, soulful sound. He has also proven himself a master of composition and arrangement, a highly acclaimed bandleader, and an in-demand sideman for such contemporary jazz masters as Kenny Barron, Idris Muhammad, Taylor Eigsti, and Roy Hargrove.
Stephens will release two new albums in 2012. Today Is Tomorrow (Criss Cross) features Aaron Parks, Mike Rodriguez, and Julian Lage, among others. Due in late fall, his third release, That Nepenthetic Place (Sunnyside), will feature Ambrose Akinmusire, Taylor Eigsti, and Gretchen Parlato, among others. His debut, The Timeless Now (Contagious Music) features John Scofield, Eigsti, Ben Street, Eric Harland, and Nick Vayenas. It garnered four stars in the November 2007 Down Beat and climbed to no. 11 on the Billboard jazz charts.
In recent years, Stephens has appeared on stage with numerous major musicians, including Terence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, Albert "Tootie" Heath, Matt Wilson, Carlos Santana, Stefon Harris, Stevie Wonder, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Tom Harrell, Roy Hargrove, Gretchen Parlato, and many others. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance.