CANCELED: Matthew Stevens
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New York City-based guitarist and composer Matthew Stevens is considered one of the most promising artists in jazz today through his associations with NEXT Collective, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Walter Smith III, among others. A self-described guitar fanatic who fell in love with his father’s Jimi Hendrix records as a child, Stevens assembled his band to allow the guitar to express his melodies alone. A native of Toronto, Canada, he began taking piano lessons as a child and switched to guitar after a few years. In middle school he joined a local rock band that played original songs as well as popular hits by bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden. He spent several summers at the University of Toronto’s jazz camp, studying with Lorne Lofsky, and ultimately moved to the United States on a scholarship to Berklee College of Music.
Now Stevens comes fully into his own with his debut recording as a leader, Woodwork. The album showcases Stevens's diverse influences; his warm, robust sound; and his fluid, emotive playing at the helm of a stellar quintet featuring pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Vicente Archer, drummer Eric Doob, and percussionist Paulo Stagnaro. Woodwork places the sound of Stevens’s guitar front and center, achieving a full-bodied resonance that captures the immersive feeling of a live concert experience.