Stephen’s musical career has taken him from the tip of Vancouver Island to the edge of the Gaspé Peninsula, and continues to contributes his unique sound and outlook to a variety of projects.
This path began at the Victoria Conservatory, where he sought a Certificate in the Foundation of Music, followed by the Diploma of Jazz Studies through Camosun College. Upon acceptance to Concordia University’s jazz program, Stephen left his hometown and moved to Montreal.
Once he arrived in Montreal, Stephen developed into a versatile performance artist. Performing in musicals such as The Full Monty and Rocky Horror Picture Show, rising through the ranks of a youth orchestra to sit as First Chair of its bass section, playing at Place des Arts with world-renowned hip hop artists, and arranging pop music etc. At Concordia, he studied bass with Eric Legace, the current bassist of Oliver Jones: a staple in Montreal’s historic jazz scene and a peer of Oscar Peterson. Stephen also attended private lessons with Wray Downes, who once studied under Ray Brown and Oscar Peterson, the most recorded and arguably most recognized Canadian jazz pianist.
While studying, Stephen also made a name for himself, both by reinvigorating Concordia’s jam sessions at renowned club Upstairs Jazz Bar and Grill and through his inventive compositions. Since graduating in 2016 with a Bachelors in Fine Arts with a Specialization in Performance, Stephen has founded jazz projects such as “Chordless 4,” a quartet of two horns, drums, and bass that plays arrangements of jazz standards; a Quintet under his own name that plays original compositions; and Oh My Mingus, a seven-piece ensemble that plays Stephen’s arrangements of Charles Mingus’ music.