BILL STEVENS: Educator, Pianist, Author
Bill Stevens is a member of the music faculty at Santa Clara University, where he directs the Aural Skills program and teaches Jazz Piano.
Mixing elements of hard bop, the blues, and funk in his two-fisted, hard swinging style, Bill is an active pianist on both coasts. He has collaborated with musicians Hilary Kole, Renn Woods, Aaron Mills, Eric Mrozkowski, Weldon Kollock, Chip Newton, Al Strong, Ryan Lucas, an many others.
“This is like singing with Oscar Peterson, and I sang with Oscar, so I’m allowed to say that.” — Hilary Kole, October 2010, at Birdland
Bill is the author of Jazz Musicianship, a Guidebook for Integrated Learning, volume 1 of which is available through The Walden School,
“Your book holds a place of honor, in my jazz library, next to Baker, Coker and Levine – keeping ‘fast’ company – but much deserved.” — Steve Crews
Bill was the host of The Bill Stevens Jazz Hour at Ruggero Piano in Raleigh, a monthly concert series featuring rotating guest artists.
Bill is an alumni of The Oberlin Conservatory, graduating Pi Kappa Lambda in 2000 with a major in Music Composition and an independently designed major in Oral Music – focusing on listening and improvisation. His teachers included John Luther Adams, Randolph Coleman, Param Vir, Sanford Margolis, and Neal Creque. He has a Masters Degree in Piano Performance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, graduating Pi Kappa Lambda in 2002, where he studied with Andrew Willis.
Bill was on the faculty of The Walden School’s Young Musicians’ Program from 2000 to 2010 and their Teacher Training Institute from 2006 through 2011. He has been exploring how to apply the unique pedagogy of The Walden School Musicianship Course to jazz instruction since 2000 and has been offering classes in Jazz Musicianship since 2001.
As a young composer, Bill’s work received national recognition. He was named a level 1 Arts finalist by the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts (NFAA) and received The Presidential Scholarsaward in the arts (1995).
Bill holds a Three-Year Teaching Certificate in Deep Listening ™ from The Deep Listening Institute (formerly The Pauline Oliveros Foundation). He has also served a year’s apprenticeship with composerPauline Oliveros, studying and teaching Deep Listening under her mentorship. Deep Listening is a practice of listening to sounds with meditative awareness, using this awareness as a point of entry into creativity in general and improvisation in particular.
Curious about the relationship between creativity, meditation, and psychological process, Bill enrolled inThe Helix Training Program in New York City, a four year self-transformational training whose mission is to bring together the divide between psychological and spiritual teachings around growth and healing. Completing this course of study in 2007, Bill became an ordained member of The Helix Healing Ministry: a transparent ministry, not affiliated with the beliefs of any particular religious tradition. Continuing to pursue an interest in healing work, Bill is currently an advanced level student of Somatic Experiencing(â„¢), a modality concerned with restoring optimal functioning of the nervous system in the wake of overwhelming life experiences.