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Gerald's Bio:

Gerald Stephens was born in Memphis and grew up in Southaven, MS, where he began piano lessons at age 7.  He continued with classical piano throughout high school and into college at Memphis State University in 1989.  Gerald also began his jazz training at Memphis State.  He began teaching piano lessons and performing professionally in 1994, and received a BFA in Commercial Music/Recording Technology from the University of Memphis in 1995.  Gerald taught with Germantown Baptist Conservatory from 1997 until 2007, and began teaching at the University of Memphis in 2002, first in the Community Music School, and from 2005-2015 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.  Gerald  also returned to classical studies in piano, and acquired a Master's degree from the University of Memphis in 2014. Currently he continues to teach at Rhodes, while performing solo, collaborating with various groups, and recording his own music.  He has been on many local album releases, including Red Trio (2005) and Groundspeak’s Local Language (2007).  Cycles (2013) is his first and only to date solo release.  He is featured in incidental piano music for the feature film Jacir (2022).

Gerald's Resume:


-BFA in Commercial Music/Recording Technology-University of Memphis (Spring 1995)
    --jazz improvisation and related courses (1991-1995)
    --classical piano:
    --independent study/lessons (1978-present)
    --Memphis State/University of Memphis (1989-1992)


-Internship-Warehouse Recording Studio, Memphis (1992-1993)

-Master’s Degree in Piano Performance, University of Memphis, 2014


-private studio (1993-present)

-Germantown Music Conservatory (Fall 1997-Fall 2008)

-University of Memphis Community Music School (Summer 2002-Spring 2009)

-Univ. of Memphis Chamber Music Workshop for Pianists instructor (Summer 2002 and Summer 2003)

-Adjunct professor of Jazz Piano, University of Memphis Jazz Department (2005-2015)
    --University of Memphis Jazz Class Piano instructor (2005-2015)
    --University of Memphis Jazz Piano Applied Music lessons/studio class (2009-2015)
    --Master Class performance with Antonio Hart (Spring 2010)
    --Master Class performance with Annie Sellick (Spring 2011)


-Adjunct professor of Jazz Piano, Rhodes College (Jan. 2011-present)


-weddings/parties/social functions, solo to groups (1994-present)


-substitute pianist, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra (June 2007)


-pianist for Hubert Sumlin, Memphis in May Beale St. Music Festival (2001)


-Beale St. blues clubs (1995-present)


-restaurant/museum/wedding/country clubs/functions pianist (1994-present)

-Inspirational Faith Lutheran Church, Frazier, TN music minister (1999-2000)


-Memphis Lutheran/Presbyterian/COGIC church pianist (1999-2013)

-Organist for Hunt Sales, Railgarten, Memphis, TN (2016)

-NYE gig with Art Edmaiston, featuring Ra Kalam Bob Moses (12-31-22, Tunica, MS)


-Freeworld (Jan.-Aug. 1995)
  --including gigs with Levon Helm and the Memphis Horns

  --including performances with Memphis jazz master Herman Green

-Don McMinn & Nightrain (Jan.-Dec. 1996)
  --including gigs with Memphis Horns, and opening for Bo Diddley

-Del-Tones (1997)

-CYC jazz/funk/rap group (1997-1998)

-Jeremy Shrader (big band and small groups) (1997-present)

-Southern Fried Jazz (1998-2000)

-Mikael Santana blues group (1998)

-Billy Gibson jazz and blues groups (1997-2001)

-Barnstormers blues group (1999-2001)
  --including gig with Sam Carr


-Jess and the Mess blues group, Little Rock, AR and Memphis, TN (2000-2001)

-Brian “Breeze” Cayolle (2008-2011)

-University of Memphis Faculty Jazz Group (2009-2015)
  --including master class performance with Antonio Hart, March 6, 2010

-Rhodes College Faculty Jazz Group (Jan. 2011-present)

-Red Trio (2004-2006)

-Groundspeak (2005-2009)

-Caribbean Sound salsa group (2009-2010)

-Delta Grass (2001-2002)

-Alphonso Sanders faculty jazz quartet, Delta State University (2003)
  --including tour of Mississippi colleges:  Alcorn St. and University of Mississippi
  --master class session with Hugh Masekela at Ole Miss
  --session with Mike Williams of the Count Basie Band
  --session with United States Marine Band from New Orleans, LA
  --Cleveland, MS Arts and Music Festival (2003)
  --Shreveport Jazz and Gumbo Festival (2003)
-Tarte Blanche (French music group for Jean Louis Forain art exhibit, Dixon Gallery, Memphis)—July-2012


-John Paul Keith band (2016-present)

-Love Light Orchestra (2016-present)


-Earl the Pearl and People of the Blues (2017-2020)


-John Nemeth and the Blue Dreamers, part time keyboards (2017-2018), full time keyboard and key bass (2018-2019)


-Max Kaplan Band (2020-2021)

-Loveland Duren Band/Van Duren Band (2021-present)

-Symmetry (2021-present)


-CYC, “Straight From The Cyndicate” (1997)

-Mikeal Santana, “In Transit”

-The New Memphis Hepcats:
    --“Live At The Hi-Tone” (1999)
    --“Swingopoly” (2003)


-Billy Gibson, “The Nearness Of You”

-Mike Ford, “Hailing Frequency” (1999)

-Red Trio, “Red Trio!” (2005), including Gerald’s original compositions and arrangements

-Inside Sounds compilation, “Memphis Meets The Beatles, Volume 2”, (2005)

-Groundspeak, “Local Language”, Delta Jam Records, (2007), including Gerald’s original compositions and arrangements

-Grace Askew, “Hawthorne” (with Groundspeak-2009)

-Caleb Sweazy, “Cotton and Coal” album (2010)

-Meserole Quintet (2013), including Gerald’s original compositions and arrangements

-Gerald Stephens, “Cycles” (2013, Electric Room), first album consisting solely of Gerald’s compositions and arrangements


-John Paul Keith, "Heart Shaped Shadow" (2016)


-Jeff Jensen, "Wisdom & Decay" (2018)


-Jocephus and the George Jonestown Massacre

    --"Death Rattle Shake" (2018)

    --“The Grendel Crane Sessions” (2020)

    --“Evil” single

    --"Snowblind in the Rising Sun" (2022)


-Love Light Orchestra,

    --“The Love Light Orchestra featuring John Nemeth” (2018)

    --"Leave the Light On" (2022)


-Mighty Souls Brass Band, “The People” (2020)


-Graber Gryass, “Late Bloom” (2020)


-Taylor Smith & the Roman' Jasmine (2021)

-Gail Bliss, "Twinkle Twinkle Christmas Star" (2022)

-Max Kaplan & the Magics, "Mind On My Heart" (2023)


Jacir (2022)-incidental piano music, solo and with composer/performer Justin Toland



Jeremy Shrader’s Hot Five, NPR, Says You, April 2010, live from Memphis, TN


Brian “Breeze” Cayolle, “From Bourbon To Beale”, in-studio  performance: PBS, WKNO Studios, Memphis, October, 2010

-Accompanist, Breeding Ground, modern dance ensemble (2003-2005)

-Accompanist, Project Motian dance ensembles (2005)

-Accompanist, Dance Improvisation  class, Univ. of Memphis, Fall 2011

-Accompanist, Contemporary Dance class, Univ. of Memphis, Spring 2012


-crew work, background acting, and sound engineer, Southaven High School (1985-1989)

-pianist for the musical, “Always Patsy Cline”, Germantown, TN Community Theatre (2005)

-"Once Upon A Mattress", keyboardist (Lausanne High School, Memphis), April 2011

-“Ain’t Misbehavin’”- Hattiloo Theatre, Memphis, Aug.-Sept. 2011

-“Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill”-Hattiloo Theatre, Memphis, Jan. 2012



-Tourism:  Graceland, Memphis, security work (1990-1991)

-Sales:  Lane Music, Germantown (1995-1996), and Turtles Music, Memphis (Christmas, 2001)

-Sound Engineer: All Saints Presbyterian Church, Memphis (2003-2005)


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