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Fragile Beauty, No. 7: Why I am Slowing Down on Live Performance

Beginning with my 2019 projects of the four movement suite, The Seasons and the release of eight performances by the Jazz Police Big Band under the direction of James Rasmussen of my big band compositions and arrangements I have made the conscious decision to pull back on performing live and instead I will be releasing one new work each month throughout 2019 on my social media platforms and on my website. This is not a retirement from performing, as I am continuing the monthly residency of my Songbook trio at Tomi Jazz, as well as maintaining my session playing with my new trio Sound House, various small groups from a quintet to a sextet and my participation in the New York Jazz Workshop Big Band.

I have instead made the focus of my project based original material to be through home recordings and videos. This has been coming along for a while and in discussions with friends and colleagues over the past year I have dropped statements and hints to this effect.

The decision to slow down on my live performance schedule came about for a number of reasons. I have always enjoyed the process involved in creating new music, especially project based theme music by expressing in sound the work of an artist, choreographer or spoken word performer. There is nothing I look more forward to than taking this music to a group of musicians to bring it to life and finally being able to present it to an audience. However, my relationship with live performance has always been shaky, especially over this past decade were I have struggled with my embouchure, not knowing how I will play from one minute to the next.

Coming out of high school, I have always wanted to be a musician; however for whatever reasons I find myself not being a part of the conversation making it difficult to land performance spaces in which to present my music. As difficult as it has been, I have never stopped working to improve as a player, writer and performer.

I am proud of the music I have made over the years and thankful to those people who have really supported me through that music. I am making the music that I want to make and enjoying the process which includes looking at the things I want to through research and resources while continuing on my own path of self discovery.

You can still hear me play as I stated earlier, this is not a retirement, not yet at least; however my new music, for the immediate future, will be released as audio recordings and through videos and can be found on my website. I haven't finished yet...

Bill Stevens Artist, Composer, Educator


  • November 3, 2019
    Tomi Jazz, New York, NY
  • November 6, 2019
    Shadmoor, New York, NY
  • November 24, 2019
    The Shadmoor, New York, NY

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