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We were so thrilled to have internationally renowned saxophonist/ composer/educator Dayna Stephens for our Harlem Speaks interview series this month. A fluid, vigorous soloist with a warm, soulful sound, Dayna has also proven himself a master of composition and arrangement, a highly acclaimed band leader and an in-demand side man for contemporary jazz masters such as Kenny Barron, Al Foster, Idris Mohammed, Taylor Eigsti and Roy Hargrove.
2013 had been an exciting year for Stephens with his third release “That Nepenthetic Place”(Sunnyside) featuring Ambrose Akinmusire, Jaleel Shaw, Taylor Eigsti, Joe Sanders, Justin Brown and special guest Gretchen Parlato. That album has already received a 4 1/2 star review in Downbeat and comes on the heels of his second release “Today Is Tomorrow” (Criss Cross 1345) which features Aaron Parks, Mike Rodriguez, Julian Lage among others. His fourth release “Ill Take My Chances” came out this summer and features Gerald Clayton, Charles Altura, Joe Sanders, Bill Stewart and Becca Stevens.
Dayna has also appeared on stage with numerous established musicians and other rising stars, including Terence Blanchard, Geoffrey Keezer, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Matt Wilson, Oliver Lake, Carlos Santana, Stefon Harris, Stevie Wonder, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Peter Apfelbaum, Tom Harrell, Gretchen Parlato, Josh Roseman, Ray Drummond, Winard Harper, Bobby Short and many others.