Wednesday, February 16th 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
The Redwood Jazz Alliance presents the Dayna Stephens Quartet for a Wednesday evening jazz performance February 16th at the Arcata Playhouse. Dayna Stephens visited us back in the Before Times, with a quartet co-led by pianist Billy Childs. (His stay was shortened by another catastrophe, though: wildfires in Sonoma that blocked the most direct route to SFO.) Since then, he’s released three more albums—two during the pandemic!—and taken first place in the “Rising Star – Tenor Saxophone” category of the prestigious 2019 DownBeat Critics Poll.
NPR’s Kevin Whitehead reckons that while Stephens “can cry and rip it up on tenor . . . at heart, he’s a streamlined melodic player” with a “handsome down-the-middle tone.” “His sound is sleek,” Whitehead says, his lines “uncluttered.” In short: “His horn sings.” Stephens freely admits that he’s always seeking what’s “singable,” and his search often results in compositions and improvisations that challenge traditional concepts of harmony, pushing the phrasing and bending beautiful melodies in unlikely directions.
Born in Brooklyn, raised in the Bay Area, Stephens has worked with everyone from Roy Hargrove to Carlos Santana, and his soulful melodicism has resonated through such renowned venues as the Village Vanguard, the Blue Note, Birdland, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, The Blue Whale, Le Duc des Lombards, Yoshi’s, Red Rocks, and SF Jazz. On this West Coast tour, which includes stops in Reno, Portland, Oakland, and LA, Stephens will be accompanied by pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Rick Rosato, and legendary drummer (and 2022 NEA Jazz Master) Billy Hart.
Tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for students and seniors, and $10 for the live stream (emailed to live-stream ticket buyers the day of the show.) Advanced tickets are required for in-person admission to this show. Audiences will required to wear secure fitting masks and show proof of up-to-date Covid-19 vaccination at the door. The current audience capacity is restricted to half, at 70 people.