Gerald Stephens began piano lessons at age 7 and continued with classical piano throughout high school and into college at Memphis State, where he also began learning jazz. He played trombone for eight years in high school and college marching and concert bands. Gerald learned the recording studio in college, and received a BFA in Commercial Music/Recording Technology in 1995 from the University of Memphis. He began teaching piano lessons and performing professionally in 1994, and taught piano with Germantown Baptist Conservatory from 1997 until 2007. He began teaching at the University of Memphis in 2002, first in the Community Music School, and since 2005 in the Jazz department. In 2011, he became adjunct professor of jazz piano at Rhodes College in Memphis. Mr. Stephens has been in demand as a blues and jazz pianist in the Mid-South area since 1995, and has performed with many notable musicians of local and international fame, including Levon Helm, Hugh Masekela, The Memphis Horns, Antonio Hart, Annie Sellick, and Valerie June. Currently he continues to teach part-time at Rhodes and U of M, while performing solo, collaborating with various groups, and recording his own music. Gerald has returned to classical studies in piano, and received a Master′s degree in Piano Performance in 2014 from the University of Memphis. He has been on many local album releases, including Red Trio (2005) and Groundspeak’s Local Language (2007). Cycles (2013) is his first solo release, bringing together jazz, jam rock, and world music influences.
B.F.A. and M.M., University of Memphis