Stephen Lee is a Memphis native who has come full circle. His talent and love for music have carried him miles from home, only to return with the wholehearted desire to enrich and serve his home community.
Stephen found a passion for piano at the age of 8 and has never once looked back. While at the University of Tennessee, he studied with Jazz legend Donald Brown before moving to New York City to formally launch his career as a Jazz artist. The move to New York served him well. It proved to be fertile ground, providing him with access to many of the giants of Jazz and landing him in some of the most hallowed venues in the country such as Smalls, Birdland, and Iridium. During his tenure in the city, he shared a stage with stars including Esperanza Spaulding, Corcoran Holt, Ulysses Owens, Jr., Billy Johnson, Gregory Porter and highly lauded fellow Memphian Kirk Whalum. In addition to his performance credentials, he served as Musical Director for Crenshaw Christian Center under the leadership of Dr. Fredrick Price, one of the most well-known names in ministry. In New York, he completed his undergraduate studies with a Bachelor’s in Jazz Performance from City College.
Upon his move to Memphis in 2009, the growth, opportunities, and accolades continued. He continued his studies, earning a Master’s degree in Education from Freed Hardeman University. In 2012, Stephen received the “Rhythm of Gospel Award”. In 2013 he was nominated for the first round of the “Stellar Gospel Awards” for his album debut, “Music is the Key of My Life”. In 2017, he won the Steinway and Sons “Top Teacher Award” and the “Jimmie Lunceford Legacy Award”. He moves forward in the spirit of service and humility, firmly committed to the youth and music arts community in Memphis. He values the importance and impact of the arts for young people, which he understands firsthand. Stephen says, “Being connected to something you feel passionate about makes a huge difference in a kid’s life. Finding music was a game changer for me.” Stephen put his words into action with his work as a piano instructor initially at Stax Music Academy and currently at Visible Music College. As a Fellow for the Memphis Music Initiative, he also teaches at Overton and Booker T. Washington High Schools.
Stephen is the publisher of “In Concert Magazine”, an e-zine viewed in over 152 different countries promoting Jazz artists from around the world. He is also a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., husband and father to two young girls.
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