“Be prepared to hear from this young man. I think he’s going to be one of the big boys – he IS already one of the big boys – and you’ll hear a lot of beautiful playing from him. Grant is what we call in the trade a ‘sleeper.’ A fantastic player, but not too many people know about him – yet! Once they do hear him they say, “WHOA!” – and that’s what I said when I did a recording with him. (And what I have to say to Grant is, “Keep on, keep on playing!”)” ... Clark Terry, legendary trumpeter and band leader
Grant Stewart plays as much tenor saxophone as anyone, anywhere. The 45-year-old Toronto native, who has lived in New York since 1990, has become a veritable tenor colossus, and an unswerving force on the New York scene. He could be the reincarnation of the Sonny Rollins of the fifties, but he has parlayed this into his own distinctive sound. His muscular approach and deft use of space are enhanced by his unique sense of swing. TRIO, released in 2015, received a five star review in Jazz Journal and a four star review in Downbeat Magazine.
What separates GRANT STEWART from so many of his peers stuck in the quicksand of hard bop nostalgia is the sheer creative spark and spontaneity of his solos…
“When Stewart gets hot the questions of individuality evaporate amid the in-the moment thrills of his invention.” Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press
Grant Stewart was born in Toronto, Canada, on June 4, 1971, and moved to New York City at the age of nineteen studying with masters such as Donald Byrd and Barry Harris. He has performed internationally with Jimmy Cobb, Harold Mabern, Louis Hayes ,Curtis Fuller, Renee Fleming, Clark Terry, Bob Mover, Etta Jones, Bill Charlap, Lewis Nash, Peter Washington, Brad Mehldau, Russell Malone, Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein, Harry Connick , Mickey Roker, Jimmy Lovelace, Cecil Payne, Dick Hymen, Herb Geller and was a member of the last Al Grey Sextet.
In New York, Stewart can be found playing at such clubs as Smalls, Lincoln Center, Birdland, SMOKE, The Kitano, The Jazz Standard and many more. Stewart has performed all over North America and Europe as well as in Japan, Brazil, and Taiwan. He was also one of the first jazz artists to be invited to play at the historical Hermitage Museum in St.Petersburg, Russia. In addition Grant was a featured artist at the Guggenheim Museums’ Jazz series with his trio including drum legend Jimmy Cobb.
Stewart has released sixteen recordings as a leader, the highlights of which are his most recent release Grant Stewart Trio on Cellar Live Records and his award winning Live At Smalls (2012) released on Smalls Live Records, In the Still of the Night (2007) , Young at Heart (2008) Grant Stewart Plays the Music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn (2009) and Around The Corner (2010). He also has co-led two sessions with fellow tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander on the Criss Cross label and has appeared on many other recordings as a sideman.
From 2008 until 2015, Stewart has been voted a “rising star on the tenor” in the Downbeat Critic’s Poll and was the subject of a feature in the July/August 2009 issue of JazzTimes magazine. Downbeat magazine has also featured Grant in it’s the December 2008 issue in a piece written by noted jazz writer Ted Panken. On the international front Stewart was named one of the top 3 tenor saxophonists and as number 7 jazz artist of the year by the noted jazz magazine Swing Journal in its 2009 poll.
Here’s what just some of the critics are saying:
“Powerful in a form that combines tension and relaxation like that of Sonny Rollins and Dexter Gordon, Grant is one of the most powerful stylists and one of the most under- estimated on the scene. His sincerity, demonstrated in his straightforward, honed music, affirms completely his power of expression. He is a burning representative of that New York style which is notably found to express itself at Small’s, Mitch Borden’s club. Working with a close-knit circle of musicians he frequents the aristocracy of jazz at the limits of the underground.” Jazz Hot Magazine (France)
“Stewart’s clarion sound and command recall Sonny Rollins, but his chops put him on a special level. He is not an imitator, but an artist who further illuminates and even expands the domain of expression first opened by Rollins.” -Thomas Conrad, Stereophile
“Stewart’s tenor is tight, rich and played full tone, instantly enveloping you in the sheer strength of his sound….staying away from established phrases and creating a researched personal sound, he produces a fresh resounding tenor.” Swing Journal (Japan)
“Stewart is one of the most dynamic modern day interpreters of the bebop language— delivering his goods with a bold deep sound, rich melodic imagination, and flawless technique.” Zan Stewart, Newark Star Ledger
“He has such an individual sound that he never gives the impression of reciting the lessons of his models.” Jazzman Magazine (France)
Sunday, Sep. 25, 2016
7:30pm, Yukon Arts Centre
Grant Stewart - tenor saxophone
Paul Sikivie - upright bass
Phillip Stewart - drum