Becca-Stevens-Bio-FINAL by cuiliqing


									BECCA STEVENS bio

      "Making music is as natural as breathing for me, and just as
essential," says Becca Stevens. "Music is an anchor in my life, one of
the few constants. It allows me to express things that are beyond
words and communicate on a very personal level, even to people I
don't know."

      The North Carolina-bred, New York-based
singer/composer/guitarist's status as a lifelong music-maker is more
than apparent on the Becca Stevens Band's Sunnyside debut
Weightless. Although she's already won significant acclaim for her
membership in Travis Sullivan's Bjorkestra and her prestigious
collaborations with such esteemed musicians as Taylor Eigsti and
Brad Mehldau, the sparkling 12-song set reveals the accomplished
young songstress to be a startlingly original, refreshingly distinctive
talent in her own right.

      On such original compositions as "Weightless," "I'll Notice,"
"Traveler's Blessing" and "The Riddle," Stevens' intimate vocals
communicate both immense warmth and effortless urgency, while her
exquisitely understated arrangements and seamlessly crafted tunes
embrace inventive acoustic textures and idiosyncratic rhythmic and
melodic elements. The resulting music offers a beguiling blend of
head and heart that resists easy categorization, drawing upon
elements of pop, jazz or folk without limiting itself to the rules of any
particular genre.

       Stevens' work has already received copious praise from the
likes of The New York Times, who described her as "a best-kept
secret" and called her debut indie release Tea Bye Sea "impressively
absorbing." The Boston Phoenix noted Becca's "big voice and no-
bull---- emotional delivery." Her hometown paper The Winston-Salem
Journal stated, "Stevens' singing is remarkable, soulful, pitch-perfect
and subtle in its controlled acrobatics. The arrangements are
exquisitely produced, and her acoustic songs boast musical textures
and colors that embrace the adventurism of jazz."

      In addition to its eight original Stevens compositions,
Weightless also features a quartet of distinctive reworkings of songs
by other artists. Those cover tunes—The Smiths' "There Is a Light
That Never Goes Out," Seal's "Kiss from A Rose," Animal Collective's
"My Girls" and Iron and Wine's "Each Coming Night"—demonstrate
Becca's stylistic versatility as well as her impressive ability to find an
emotional connection with material from wildly divergent sources.

      Stevens recorded Weightless at Manhattan's Sear Sound with
veteran producer Matt Pierson (whose extensive resume includes
influential work with Joshua Redman, Jane Monheit and Kirk
Whalum) and her close-knit band, which includes Liam Robinson on
accordion and keyboards, Chris Tordini on bass and Jordan Perlson
on drums and percussion. Her bandmates' instrumental skills
complement Becca's own expressive work on guitar, ukulele and
charango, while their earthy harmonies provide a compelling
counterpoint to her own personally-charged vocals. Several of the
album's tracks feature guitarist Larry Campbell, who's known for his
work with the likes of Bob Dylan, Rosanne Cash and Levon Helm,
and others. Singer/songwriter Gretchen Parlato guests on the
haunting waltz "No More."

      It's no exaggeration to say that Becca Stevens has been
making music for her entire life. The daughter of musicians, she
began singing in her family's band, the Tune Mammals, when she
was two years old. She spent much of her childhood on stage,
singing, acting and dancing, including a year-long tour in the lead role
of The Secret Garden when she was ten. She became fluent in jazz
and classical guitar, and in the folk music traditions of her native
North Carolina—influences that still echo in her songwriting.

      After graduating from the high school program at the North
Carolina School of the Arts with a major in classical guitar, Stevens
attended The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New
York, where she received a BFA with high honors in vocal jazz and
composition. It was at the New School that she met the musicians
who would subsequently become the Becca Stevens Band.
       "My parents are both working musicians and performers, and
they've always been very supportive of my choices, so I've never
doubted this as my career path," Becca notes, adding, "The first
sounds I heard in the delivery room were my dad playing an Irish slip
jig on the fiddle. The tune was 'The Kid on the Mountain'; I still cry
when I hear it. I grew up with the sounds of music and composing
and singing and rehearsing around me all the time, so it was always a
very natural thing for me."

       The sense of musical community that was instilled in Stevens
early in life would help to prepare her to collaborate with a wide
assortment of musicians in a diverse array of settings. Since 2004,
Becca has served as lead singer of Travis Sullivan's Bjorkestra,
fronting a genre-bending 18-piece jazz orchestra interpreting the
songs of Björk. She has also toured and recorded with, and written
lyrics for, jazz pianist Taylor Eigsti, singing on five songs on his 2010
album Daylight At Midnight. She recently performed at Carnegie Hall
as featured singer with pianist Brad Mehldau. She's also toured as
part of drummer/composer Eric Harland's all-star band; and has
written and/or recorded with such notable players as Clarence Penn,
George Garzone, Julian Lage, Kendrick Scott, Jeremy Pelt, Logan
Richardson and Andy Milne.

      2010 saw the debut of Stevens' first choral composition, Soli
Deo Gloria, commissioned and performed by the Melodia Women's
Choir in New York. Becca also moonlights as one-third of Girls Gone
Mild, a trio with fellow singer/songwriters Rebecca Martin and
Gretchen Parlato.

       In addition to those projects, Stevens has also worked
extensively as a teacher, teaching guitar and songwriting to students
ranging from juvenile delinquents to senior citizens. She also
recently rekindled her childhood affinity for acting, playing the lead
role in Shakespeare's As You Like It and supporting parts in Romeo
and Juliet and Macbeth with the Adirondack Shakespeare Company.

      As diverse as her musical experiences have been, Becca
Stevens' creative objectives are impressively focused. "Every day I
learn from the music of composers who have come before me and on
whose shoulders I stand, and from my experiences from the profound
to the trivial. My focus as an artist is to cast those experiences in a
musical and poetic language that will resonate with the listener and
affect a moment, a day or a life."

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