David Baron Stevens is an exciting and emotional musician with a career expanding beyond the borders of the birthplace of Jazz, the Americas. Growing up in California’s rural San Joaquin Valley, he was surrounded by fine music educators and players, such as Susan Burley (Shagoian), Paul Shagoian, and Bill Butts, who helped carve the path for a young valley musician to be able to open for Lionel Ritchie, at the age of 19, on the Millennium New Years’ Eve Party at the Mirage in Las Vegas.
That next year brought him to Carnival Cruise Lines, working as a Show Band Musician for contracts during January 1999 – 2004 and again in 2012-13. All the while, he earned Dual Associates’ Degrees in both Instrumental and Vocal Music from, and studied Sound and Recording Engineering at, College of the Sequoias in Visalia, California, USA.
Only one year after beginning training as an apprentice of two world-class musicians, Jeff Clayton (Clayton – Hamilton Jazz Orchestra) and Tracy Harris (Yamaha Flute Artist), Stevens was not only accepted to the private studio of Victor Goines (Juilliard, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra), but was also a finalist for Berklee College of Music’s first-ever Presidential Scholarship. Throughout his career, DBS has enjoyed tremendous opportunities to play with such jazz greats as Steve Allen, Ed Shaunassy (Tonight Show with Johnny Carson), Mark Levine, Oscar Hernandez (Spanish Harlem Orchestra), Dave Samuels (Caribbean Jazz Project, Spiro Gyra), Wayne Wallace, Eric Marienthal, Wayne Bergeron, Joe LaBarbera and many others.
Stevens loves to perform his compositions in front of a live audience. You’ll see this in some form of The World Jazz Ensemble, which premiered on the main stage at the 2010 Bakersfield Jazz Festival. With each song based in a local rhythm from a different part of the world, he takes you around the world for a trip in how language and culture flavor our music and celebrate the differences as well as the common thread found as all these genres of music have enriched America’s classical music, jazz. From Salsa in New York, to Smooth Jazz in Los Angeles, to Cuban Bolero and Argentine Tango, to even Spanish Flamenco and French Gypsy Jazz, Stevens’ music remains all original, yet a reflection of the various facets of his own personality and heritage. He is born to an immmigrant Salvadoran mother and a Romani father, and couldn’t be more 100% Californian.
Most recently, DBS has been performing in the UK with And Finally…Phil Collins, “the UK’s #1 Phil Collins Tribute Band”, is a regular performer at the Southampton Modern Jazz Club, and has shared the stage with many fine British musicians, including Jonathan Fashole-Luke, Ted Carrasco, Paul Young, and Matt Findlay.