We'll be at Snug Harbor on Friday, September 29 to broadcast a performance from the Barry Stephenson Quartet. Stephenson is one of the most promising young bassists in New Orleans today.
Born in Florida in 1987, he began playing the electric bass at the age of 14, with the intention to play rock music. In high school, Barry inadvertently joined the jazz band and started taking acoustic bass lessons when he was 17 in order to prepare for college auditions. He attended Florida State University where he studied jazz and classical double bass with Rodney Jordan and Melanie Punter, respectively. While at Florida State, he also studied with legendary pianist Marcus Roberts. Upon graduating, Barry moved to New Orleans and played with many of the city's notable musicians while studying for his Master's degree at the University of New Orleans under the tutelage of Roland Guerin.
In 2011 he joined the Glen David Andrews Band and appeared on several on the band's albums, as well as serving as musical director on the album Redemption.
Barry joined Jon Batiste and Stay Human in 2013 and has since toured the world nonstop. He has performed at a variety of festivals including the Montreaux, Montreal, Newport, North Sea, Monterey, Umbria, and Playboy jazz festivals as well as Bonnaroo and Lallapalooza. In 2014, Jon purchased a tenor banjo for Barry and had him learn to play it within the thirty minutes prior to a performance on NPR.
Barry has been known to lead and compose for bands in various genres of music. In 2011, he was awarded the ASCAP Foundation Louis Armstrong Award followed by the Svenson Composition Award in 2012. Recently, he released his debut jazz album Basic Truths featuring original compositions.
See more of Stephenson from his appearance with Haruka Kikuchi at WWOZ last fall as they performed 'Hold That Tiger.' vimeo.com/145165834