The Fonda/Stevens Group

Monday, March 16, 2009 @ 8:30 pm

Michael Jefry Stevens – piano
Joe Fonda – bass
Harvey Sorgen – drums
Herb Robertson – trumpet

With over 20 years of performing together this powerful acoustic NYC based jazz ensemble is one of the premier working modern jazz groups on today’s international scene, featuring the music of bassist Joe Fonda and pianist Michael Jefry Stevens performing with master percussionist Harvey Sorgen and the brillliant modern jazz trumpet legend Herb Robertson. This concert will feature new compositions from our soon to be released latest CD “Memphis” on Playscape Records.

“Over the past seventeen years and the course of ten CD’s, the Fonda/Stevens Group has evolved into one of Jazz/improvised music’s most accomplished ensembles. Straddling the line between post-bob and free, they have come up with consistently satisfying albums.” Cadence Magazine

The group has performed over 20 European tours in the past 12 years (!997 – 2009) including radio broadcasts for BRTN (Belgium), Saarbrucken Radio (Germany), WDR Radio Koln (Germany), Radio Bremen (Germany), Radio Zurich (Switzerland), Radio Nurnberg (Germany) VPRO Radio Amsterdam (Holland) and has been featured artist at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival (Canada), Halo Jazz Days (Brugge, Belgium), Jazzmeille Thuringen (Weimer, Germany), Jazzkroe Gent (Belgium), Westfalisches Musikfest 1998 (Munster Germany), Edgefest (Ann Arbor, MI) the Cerkno Jazz Festival (Slovenia 2007) and recently toured the USA (2008).

Pianist and co-leader Michael Jefry Stevens has performed and/or recorded with Dave Douglas, Mark Feldman, Gerry Hemingway, Miles Griffith, Billy Martin (Martin-Medeski-Wood), Pheeroan Aklaff, Leo Wadada Smith, Steve Turre, Cecil Bridgewater, Valery Ponamerev, Potato Valdez, Thomas Chapin and Dominic Duval. His most recent CD releases include “For Andrew” on Konnex Records and “For the Children” on Cadence Records. He has composed over 300 works for various musical ensembles and was a recent fellow at the Macdowell Artist Colony in Peterborough, NH and Centrum Arts in Port Townsend, WA. He is currently on the faculty of Rhodes College in Memphis, TN.

Bassist and co-leader Joe Fonda has developed an extensive international reputation over the last several years recording and touring with the world-reknowned Anthony Braxton including performances at some of the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals including the North Sea Jazz Festival and the Istanbul International Jazz Festival. He is also featured bassist on numerous recordings with Mr. Braxton including the famed Charlie Parker Project Recordings as well as the piano quartet recordings with Braxton on piano. Mr. Fonda has performed with such notable musicians as Ken McIntyre, Charlie Persip, Lou Donaldson, Perry Robinson, Kenny Barron, Leo Smith, Curtis Fuller, Chico Hamilton and others. He is co-leader of the critically acclaimed FAB trio which features Barry Altschul on drums and Billy Bang on violin.

Master Drummer Harvey Sorgen has performed and/or recorded with Anthony Braxton, Bruce Hornsby, Bob Weir, Dave Douglas, David Sancious, John Stubblefield, Carter Jefferson, Karl Berger, David Torn, Ahmad Jamal, Los Lobos, Dry Jack, Art Lande, Roswell Rudd, NRBQ, the Mallards and Bill Frisell amongst many others. He was a member of “Hot Tuna” for over a decade and is featured on many of their most important recordings. A partial list of album credits include; The Arc Quartet, Outlet, the Mosaic Sextet, NRBQ, Sorgen-Rust-Stevens Trio and recently “Aercine” on Drimala Records. His first instructional video, “Drumming Made Easy” is available worldwide from Homespun Tapes Ltd.

Herb Robertson is internationally renowned as one of the most innovative trumpet/brass improvisors of the 20th Century. In 1981, Robertson became one of the original members of Tim Berne’s ensemble and shortly after joined Mark Helias’ band. It is with these two artists that Robertson first began receiving enormous critical acclaim. Mr. Robertson has recorded five albums under his own name and has appearedwith such artists as Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz, John Zorn, Bobby Previte, Charlie Haden Music Liberation Orchestra, Anthony Davis, Elliot Sharpe, The George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, Barry Guy and the London Jazz Composer’s Orchestra, Paul Motian, Dewey Redman, among many others. He has performed at most of the important European Jazz and New Music festivals including the “October Meeting” in Amsterdam, the Moers Festival in Berlin, Sallfelden, Willasau, and Nicklesdorf Music festivals.