Bill Stevenson (Canadian musician)

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Bill Stevenson
Born 1947 (age 69–70)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Genres Blues, jazz
Occupation(s) Pianist, vocalist, songwriter
Associated acts Earth Opera

Bill Stevenson (born 1947) is an award-winning Canadian blues and jazz pianist, vocalist and songwriter, originally associated with the band Earth Opera, whose career in music has spanned over forty years.


Stevenson commenced his music career in Ottawa, Ontario, where he spent his childhood and adolescence. While still in his teens, he joined the band Earth Opera, originally based in Boston. Stevenson left the band in 1968, after the release of their first album. During Stevenson's time with Earth Opera, the band frequently opened for The Doors, being fellow recording artists on Elektra Records, as well as having Jac Holzman as producer.[1]

After leaving Earth Opera, Stevenson returned to Ottawa, where he continued to play locally for a number of years. One of his associations was as an early member of Heaven's Radio,[2] considered to be one of the best bands to come out of Ottawa in the 1970s.[3] As of the mid-1970s, Stevenson relocated to Halifax, Nova Scotia, from which his career has been based since. During his career, Stevenson has worked with many notable artists, including John Lee Hooker, Amos Garrett[4] and Tom Rush.

Stevenson is the 2008 winner of the East Coast Music Award for Jazz Album of The Year.[4] With Tom Easley and Geoff Arsenault, he is also a 2009 East Coast Music Award nominee for Blues Album of The Year.[5]


Earth Opera[edit]

Featured performer[edit]

  • 1994 Shall we call it a night (Independent, with Tom Easley)
  • 2006 For The Record (Independent; with Tom Easley)
  • 2009 Nine Steps (Super High; with Tom Easley and Geoff Arsenault)

Contributions to others[edit]


  1. ^ See Earth Opera. Holzman, in his capacity as the founder of Elektra Records (see Jac Holzman), had signed both The Doors and Earth Opera.
  2. ^ Terry Gillespie, Brother of The Blues, in Halifax Archived February 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.. News Release, May 25, 2007; Stevenson played with Gillespie at Gillespie's Halifax performance.
  3. ^ Uncredited, Get ready for a taste of Heaven: Classic '70s band reunites for concert this weekend Archived November 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. Ottawa Citizen, May 17, 2007. Heaven's Radio, formed by singer Terry Gillespie, performed primarily in the 1970s and 1980s, releasing two albums: Active and Uptown Babies. Both albums were reissued on CD in 2007, involving a promotional reunion concert at which Stevenson performed. Both Stevenson and Gillespie are contemporaries of William Hawkins and contributed to the Hawkins tribute album, Dancing Alone: Songs of William Hawkins (2008).
  4. ^ a b Biography of Bill Stevenson;
  5. ^ ECMA Nomination; "News", December 4, 2009;
  6. ^ Nominated for Blues Album of The Year, 2004 East Coast Music Awards. See record particulars[permanent dead link];
  7. ^ Selected as Blues Album of The Year, 2005 East Coast Music Awards. See record particulars[permanent dead link];
  8. ^ A tribute album, on which Stevenson performs two of Hawkins' songs, including a version of Hawkins' best-known song, "Gnostic Serenade". Stevenson's version is described by one reviewer as a "stark, voice-and-piano confessional': Review of Dancing Alone: Songs of William Hawkins; The Toronto Star, October 14, 2008.

External links[edit]