Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bay Area Jazz Cats Put On All-Star Lineup to Support Saxophonist Dayna Stephens

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 1:40 PM

STEVE SHERATON
  • Steve Sheraton
You've probably never seen so many Bay Area jazz musicians on a concert program. This Fourth of July, an All-Star Bay Area musicians lineup of four bands with 22 musicians total -- including Marcus Shelby, Lavay Smith, John Santos, Ray Obiedo, and Faye Carol -- will perform at Yoshi's San Francisco.

What got all these local jazz cats in the same room? Or rather, who? The answer is 33-year-old Bay Area saxophonist Dayna Stephens, whose performances and recordings have earned praise from the New York Times and other publications. Unfortunately, the occasion is not one to celebrate.

The concert is a health care benefit for Stephens, who is waiting on a kidney transplant and faces costly antirejection medications (over $4,000 a month) for an indefinite time.

Stephens was born in Brooklyn, but raised in the Bay Area. He started playing the saxophone at age 13 and studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston as well as the USC Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

Dayna Stephens: Beginning of an Endless Happy Monday

Stephens was diagnosed with kidney disease at age 19 and has to be on dialysis 13 hours a day. Despite the circumstances, he continues to perform, and is working on a new CD which is slated to come out in January.

Stephanie Dalton, concert organizer and director of Urban Music Presents, told SF Weekly that it was easy to get the musicians to play at the benefit, because "everyone wanted to help."

"Dayna's a very gentle person, kind, giving, conscientious, dedicated," she says. "I mean, he's all the best things you could ask for in a person." She hopes that the concert's proceeds will help Stephens focus on what he loves -- teaching and performing music.


The Benefit Concert is at Yoshi's on July 4 from 8 to 11 p.m.

----
Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown, and like us at Facebook.com/SFAllShookDown.
  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

About The Author

Caroline Chen

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"