Photo courtesy of Steven Bromberg
Dr. Stephen Anderson (Professor) is a critically acclaimed composer and pianist whose music has been published on fourteen compact discs through Summit, Albany, Nagel Heyer Records, and other labels. Four of Anderson’s recordings have appeared on the Grammy® Awards ballots representing Summit Records—Nation Degeneration (53rd), Believe (56th), 360˚ Jazz Initiative, Distracted Society (58th), and The Dominican Jazz Project (59th). The Dominican Jazz Project similarly represented the label at the 17th Annual Latin Grammy® Awards in the categories of “Best New Artist” and “Best Jazz CD.” Both the Stephen Anderson Trio Nation Degeneration and Forget Not CDs received 4½ stars (out of 5) from the All Music Guide, and Forget Not was nominated best jazz “Debut CD” (3rd Annual Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll 2008). The Dominican Jazz Project is listed in the 2016’s best Latin/Brazilian jazz recordings (Ken Frackling, Jazz Notes).
As a composer, his works have been performed by ensembles throughout the United States, including the West Point Military Academy Band, Dallas Chamber Orchestra, Montclair State Wind Symphony, Crested Butte Chamber Orchestra, the MIT Concert Band, North Carolina Central Percussion Ensemble, UNC Symphony Orchestra, UNC Wind Ensemble and many others, and at such venues as the College Band Directors National Association, the International Tuba Euphonium Association, and the Australian Trumpet Guild.
Awards include two commissions from the Barlow Endowment (2005, 2010), finalist, West Point Jazz Knights ComposeRehearsal w/ West Point Band, at the Falcon, New Yorkrs Forum competition (2011), Chapman Family Foundation Teaching Award (2014), Junior Faculty Development Award-UNC (2008), United Arts Council of Greater Greensboro, the UNC Research Council, the “Village Pride, Hometown Hero Award” WCHL Chapel Hill Radio (2008), Endeavors magazine features (2013, 2008), and reviews in All About Jazz, Jazz Times, All Music Guide, and PAS.
Since 2014, Anderson’s collaborations with jazz artists from the Caribbean (The Dominican Jazz Project and Juan Alamo’s, Marimjazzia) have resulted in several performances in the Dominican Republic and a Puerto Rico. Previously, Anderson was pianist with the Lynn Seaton Trio (2000-03), the North Texas One O’clock Lab Band (Lab 2000-01), was winner of the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival piano competition (1997), and keyboardist for gold-recording country artist, Kevin Sharp (1996-97).
Dr. Anderson is Professor of Composition and Jazz Studies at the University of North Carolina. He holds a D.M.A. from the University of North Texas (2005), and served as Assistant Professor of Jazz Piano at Western Illinois University (2003-2005). He studied composition with Cindy McTee, Joseph Klein, Tom Clark, Joseph Butch Rovan, Phil Winsor, Paris Rutherford, Stephen Jones, David Sargent, Michael Hicks, and Murray Boren. He studied piano with Dan Haerle, Stephan Karlson, Dan Waldis, Gary Freeman, Wilson Brown, and Mona Smith. Through visiting artist-in-residence series, Anderson has also received personal instruction from Joseph Schwantner, Brian Ferneyhough, Stephen Hartke, Maria Schneider, Bob Brookmeyer, and Jim McNeely.
“The pocket he plays in is precise and intense, whether he imposes alien forms onto his pieces or simply thwarts the expectations of rhythm and harmony…there is no question of the beauty in Anderson’s playing…”
—Jay Deshpande, All about Jazz
“Anderson...creates new music and improvisations that are full of life, energy and fresh ideas. Highly recommended.”
—Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
…Quest…composed by Stephen R. Anderson, establishes a method of creating a four-part texture by just two instruments. This, to my ears, is the most innovative work on the CD, and is really quite striking in its originality.
—David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare Magazine
(review of Quest, by Duo XXI, Albany Records)
…“an exemplar of the scholar-musician.”
—Jay Deshpande, All about Jazz
…one of the bright stars of the contemporary scene.
—It’s Just Jazz, KZFR 90.1 FM
Isaiah is a powerful work, full of colors both vivid and, at times, pastel. The audience received this premiere performance with enthusiastic applause, with good reason.
—Geoffrey Simon, Classical Voice of North Carolina
…“freely exploratory, patiently detailed, deeply felt, entirely unsentimental, and continually surprising.”
—Thomas Conrad, Jazz Times
…“full of creative energy and the joy of musical discovery.”
—Mark Sullivan, All about Jazz (review of the Dominican Jazz Project, Summit Records)
…“terrific interplay by the trio”
—Ken Dryden, All Music Guide