Becca Stevens

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Becca Stevens
Moers Festival, 2016
Background information
Born (1984-06-14) June 14, 1984 (age 36)
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.
GenresJazz, folk
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, ukulele, charango
LabelsSunnyside, GroundUp, Universal
Associated actsBecca Stevens Band, Tillery, Jacob Collier
Websitebeccastevens.com

Becca Stevens (born June 14, 1984) is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist who draws upon elements of jazz, chamber pop, indie rock, and folk.

Early life and education[edit]

Stevens was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina as the youngest of three children to William Stevens, a composer known for sacred choral music, and Carolyn Dorff, a singer trained in opera and musical theater. During her childhood she performed and toured regionally with her brother, sister, and parents in her family's children's music group, the Tune Mammals. [1] When she was ten years old, she and her mother starred in a year-long national tour of the musical The Secret Garden.[1][2] After her parents' separation she attended the Peddie School in New Jersey for 9th and 10th grades.[1][2] She finished high school at the North Carolina School of the Arts, where she studied classical guitar; at this time she also sang in her brother's jazz rock band, Gomachi. After high school she spent a year working with Gomachi before attending college at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, where she received a degree in vocal jazz and composition.[1][3][4]

Career[edit]

Stevens has released five albums as a leader: Tea Bye Sea (2008), Weightless (2011), Perfect Animal (2015), Regina (2017), and Wonderbloom (2020).[5][6] She has worked with Jacob Collier, Laura Mvula, Billy Childs, David Crosby, Taylor Eigsti, Timo Andres, Brad Mehldau, Travis Sullivan's Bjorkestra, Michael McDonald, and Snarky Puppy. She was a member of the band Tillery with Gretchen Parlato and Rebecca Martin.[1][7][3]

One track on David Crosby's Michael League-produced Lighthouse album featured Crosby, League, Stevens, and Michelle Willis (with Bill Laurance on piano) performing "By the Light of Common Day", a song written by Stevens and Crosby. The quartet became The Lighthouse Band that performed on Crosby's album Here If You Listen.[8]

Jazz vocalist Kurt Elling listed her as one of his five favorite jazz vocalists[9] and music critic Ted Gioia listed her albums Weightless (2011) and Perfect Animal (2015) among the one hundred best albums of the corresponding years.[10][11]

Stevens's album Regina (2017) was produced by Michael League and Troy Miller and received a five-star review from Down Beat magazine, which called it "the most spectacular of albums", while BBC Radio 2 praised the album saying, "Lyrically, the album is astounding".

Personal life[edit]

Stevens married Nathan Schram, the violist of the Attacca Quartet, on September 2, 2017. Stevens and Schram live in Brooklyn, New York City.[6][12]

Discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

  • Tea Bye Sea (2008)
  • Weightless (Sunnyside, 2011)
  • Perfect Animal (Core Port/Universal, 2014)
  • Regina (GroundUP, 2017)
  • Wonderbloom (GroundUP, 2020)

As Tillery[edit]

  • Tillery (Core Port, 2016)

As David Crosby's Lighthouse Band[edit]

As guest[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Chinen, Nate (August 2, 2008). "Influenced by a Variety of Sounds, Becca Stevens's Style Is All Her Own". The New York Times. Retrieved August 28, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b "Famous Winston-Salemites: Becca Stevens". The Man Van Blog. March 5, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b Morrison, Allen (July 2016). "Becca Stevens". Down Beat. Elmhurst, Illinois: Maher.
  4. ^ "Smartists: Becca Stevens | Amy Poehler's Smart Girls". amysmartgirls.com. March 27, 2014.
  5. ^ "Becca Stevens album discography". AllMusic. Retrieved August 28, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ a b "Singer Becca Stevens and Violist Nathan Schram Perform A Duet From Brooklyn". NPR. May 29, 2020. Retrieved August 28, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Biography – Long Form". tillerygals.com. May 11, 2011. Retrieved September 4, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Michael League: Snarky Puppy's Jazz-Schooled, Grassroots Visionary". All About Jazz. December 10, 2018. Retrieved June 8, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "NPR Music". Kurt Elling on World Cafe.
  10. ^ "Ted Gioia". The 100 Best Albums of 2011.
  11. ^ "Ted Gioia". The 100 Best Albums of 2015.
  12. ^ Becca Stevens (September 14, 2017). "Wedding Facebook post". Retrieved August 28, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)