tephan expertly plays piano, keyboards, synthesizers, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, saxophone, drums, percussion, sings expressive lead and background vocals and is also a very versatile and experienced synthesizer programmer and sound designer.
These sought-after skills have made Stephan a welcome guest in many american top level show and performance projects. See details about the diverse kinds of artists that love to work with Stephan, below:
Brenda heard of Stephan’s ability and included him in early 1993 for her “Soul Talking” tour. Shortly after that, Stephan advanced to being Brenda’s musical director. He still plays -and produces- with his dear friend to this day, enjoying more than 20 years of professional and inspiring work together.
Stephan traveled to Japan with the above band on a enthusiatically received 5 week, 6 city tour with Brenda in 1996 under MD Bill Sharpe, with David Swanson on keyboards and vocals, Dwight Sills on guitar and Jody Cortez on drums.
“Brenda’s music is the most soulful show material I have ever played : goosebumps from beginning to end !”
After having played 26 shows in Japan, fans reported that the band that hit the House Of Blues on Sunset (just a few days after their return from Japan) was the most connected and powerful it has ever been and wowed Brenda’s audience in Los Angeles.
“One of the most remarkable things in Japan was the sound engineers in the Blue Note and Bottom Line Clubs”,remembers Stephan.
“They were mostly young women, maybe in their 20’s – who knew their craft expertly! It seemed that at some point in your career as a young japanese waiter you would be expected to work at the sound board – and master it!”
When Stephan returned to Japan to play at BILLBOARD LIVE with Melissa Manchester in 2014, the teams were exactly the same: young, on top of their craft and extremely courteous – what a fantastic experience!
After meeting in 1997, they produced a significant body of work in the form of demo tracks — culminating in the release of Melissa’s critically acclaimed album, “When I Look Down That Road.”
When the record was released in 2004, Melissa asked Stephan to join her on the road with her excellent band under the direction of her longtime friend and colleague, the talented musical director and multi-instrumentalist Peter Hume.
Only a few years later the need for a Duo Show arose and Melissa, who knew that Stephan could play several instruments excellently, again asked him to be her partner in this delicate endeavor.
The Duo show proved to be extremely successful, touring to packed houses across America and worldwide.
It also gave birth to many of the arrangements which recently got recorded on her 2015 release, “You Gotta Love The Life,” on which Stephan also played numerous instruments in conjunction with artists Al Jarreau, Stevie Wonder, Abraham Laboriel and other stellar talent.
Stephan has been working as Melissa’s musical director since 2012.
With five gold and platinum albums to his name, the charismatic and multi-talented singer Jeffrey Osborne hired Stephan to join his band under musical director Frankie Crawford.
The powerful quintet performed Jeffrey’s greatest hits such as, “On the Wings of Love,” “Back To You,” “WooWoo Song,” and many others to sold out venues around the country and garnered rave reviews.
(photo: LA times 2015)