Stevens has shared the stage and studio with leading jazz lights like Gerald Albright, Najee, Frank McComb and others, performing at the Berks Jazz Fest and Queen City Summer Fest and on the Capital Jazz Cruise, among many other places. He counts among his influences George Benson, Larry Carlton, mentor Darryl Johnson of D-For, Fred Cooper (Boyz II Men) and Earl Klugh.
Stevens’ eighth studio album Evolution, from earlier this year, includes guest turns by Will Donato, Althea Rene, Jackiem Joyner, Lin Rountree, Tony Exum Jr., Elan Trotman and Phil Denny – the latter of whom was a huge hit at the 2019 edition of the Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival. He’s also previously appeared with fellow featured 2021 Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival performer Jazmin Ghent.
He pours everything in his studio projects, Stevens says – and then begins finding new inspirations again. “It’s interesting: I’ll do an album, and usually I say to myself, ‘Well, this will be it for a while’ – because I pour so much of myself into this,” Stevens has said. “Then I’ll get an inspiration. I’ll just be listening to music, and all of a sudden, I can’t stop. It’s four o’clock in the morning, and I’m still listening. Then the next day, it’s the same thing. Then eventually, after about a month of that, all of a sudden tunes and ideas start coming.”
Raised by a musical family, David P. Stevens first took up the guitar at age 12, and was writing, recording and performing professionally by 15. After college, Stevens served as guitarist for the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s house band in Nashville, while continuing to write, recording and tour. Now based in Los Angeles, he’s continued a busy recording career that began with 2005’s Timeless, featuring several renowned Philadelphia artists including Lisa McClendon.
Other albums include The Shedd, which included turns by Steve Cole, Gerald Veasley and co-producer Donald Robinson; Mr. Guitar and Love City. His latest project Evolution continues a focus on authenticity: “If I could change anything about music,” he once said, “it would be to bring back real musicians and change the tide from instant microwave hits to actual thoughtful individual expression.”
Along the way, David P. Stevens graduated magna cum laude from the Berklee College of Music, receiving a master’s degree in business with a music focus.
The fifth annual Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival will once again be held on Carver Street, home to the historic Charlie’s Place. Dates for this year’s event are Oct. 15-17, 2021. Click here to find out how you can provide critical financial support as the festival returns after a pandemic-related pause.