Born November 19, 1975 in Greenville, North Carolina, Stephen Riley is a professional tenor saxophonist. Riley first learned the violin as a child, then switched to the saxophone at the age of nine. After studying at a school of the arts in Florida, where his mother taught classical voice and piano, he returned to North Carolina to study and played in the local university big band. With the Clifford Brown / Stan Getz Fellowship Award, he received the opportunity to study at William Patterson College in New Jersey, after which he moved to New York City to begin his professional career and where he was quickly noticed by many highly-esteemed jazz artists. Since the mid-1990s he has worked with jazz musicians such as Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Roberts, Harry Connick, Jr., Ray Charles, Christian McBride, Jason Moran, Natalie Cole and Nora Jones, and many others. Stephen Riley has been and is currently a featured artist at the Jazz at Lincoln Center's concert series. He is a Steeplechase recording artist with 13 critically acclaimed album releases as a leader. In 2021, Stephen joined the ranks of the Canadian label Cellar Live Records and released a duo record entitled Original Mind. In Scandinavia, he regularly tours with Snorre Kirk and recently completed a tour throughout Denmark, Sweden and Germany in December 2021. Stephen Riley is highly involved in jazz education, teaching private students virtually in the U.S. and Europe.
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