Archive for the ‘Notes on gigs and recordings’ Category

Quilt detail - Sue Stevens

Detail of a quilt made by Sue Stevens

My cousin Megan reminded me that my aunt made me a dulcimer for Christmas one year. She was a huge influence on where my music has taken me. She encouraged my mother to give or she gave me a banjo and my first mandolin, as well as making the aforementioned dulcimer. The dulcimer was wicked out of tune all the time and couldn’t be put right but it was an awesome gift anyway. Sally was a big supporter of bluegrass, of which I do not play, but the instrumentation has sunk in and I love those acoustic american folk instruments. The mandolin has stuck with me. My mom and aunt where both quilters and crafty people of all types. I think that is where I get my creative side. Thanks mom. Thanks Aunt Sally. I dedicate “Sew What” to you two.

Here is “Sew What”, one of the songs from Simple Songs. I’m not sure the mandolin part is going to make the final cut but check out the rhythm section. It is a 1955 Singer Featherweight sewing machine. Rock On!

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J100This is a little side project I started. Seven simple songs. I tried to keep everything very simple: the arrangements, the chord progressions, my playing. I also played some instruments that are new to me. This is sort of imposed simplicity, kind of like talking in an unfamiliar language. I am entranced with ukulele tunings. I play ukulele on a few songs and the tiple on one song. The tiple is a crazy ten stringed instrument. You tune a tiple like a ukulele but the tiple has double and triple courses. These double and triple courses are tuned in octaves. It is fun to play but my instrument is kind of funky intonation wise. I really liked this added element of simplicity and funkyness.

These are a couple early drafts of songs.

I still think I will add some bass on some of the tracks and have it mixed by someone who knows what he or she is doing. I hope you enjoy.

The cover art is a paper cut by Jose´Chardiet.


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Dusty Road

20130217-133033.jpgWe had a wonderful, warm and appreciative audience Friday night for the vespers service. Thank you all for coming out into the cold night and being such a great audience.

And the band rocked it. It was great playing with Chris, Shula, Lydia and Vincent.  We got locked in to a groovin’ good place. Dusty Road especially was an amazing experience to play. Everybody was listening and responding to each other.  We had an amazing musical conversation.

And now on to bringing these people into the recording studio!


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IMG_0713Between The Lines


February 15, 7:00 p.m

The Unitarian Society New Haven
700 Hartford Turnpike
Hamden CT 06517

Join Glenn Stevens and friends at a Friday night vespers service “Between the Lines”. 
Sit in the prayerful embrace of a vespers service that combines music, poetry, and meditative visual images.
Abstract and concrete visual imagery combined with text, set to music.

Original music on mandolin, guitar, piano, bass, cello, and percussion.
An informal reception will be held following the service.

sunrise over the boulevard IIGlenn Stevens ~ Mandolin ~ Guitar ~
Shula Weinstein ~ Cello ~
Chris Reba ~ Bass ~
Vincent Cangiano ~ Piano ~
Lydia Smith ~ Percussion

Lao Tzu
Emily Dickinson
Rainer Maria Rilke
Mary Oliver
William Carlos Williams

Video images by Glenn Stevens

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I was looking through the archives the other day looking for some photos to use for some promotional material and I got to thinking about all the great musicians we have had the opportunity to play with. Chris Reba, Tony Pasqualoni, filling in regular for Fred. Sue Bond, Liz Hess, Jackie Shapiro sat in singing a few tunes.

Some of the side projects with Sarah Heath, Chris Reba, and Lydia Smith.

Then I stumbled across some pictures of some of the other lesser known but none the less fabulous musicians that have sat in with Jazz Folks and decided to share a little slide show with you.

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We play some Thelonious Monk tunes and recently ran across a short video of a musicologist that has painstakingly gone through Monk’s music and fixed all his mistakes. Fascinating ground breaking work.

Lastly some interesting news from the John Cage Estate that is pertinent to everyone who samples music or plays or records covers.

John Cage’s estate suing for uncollected royalties.

I will be publishing a transcription of 4’33” for mandolin in the coming months. I am working hard on some of the technical feats of transferring a piece written for a seven octave instrument down to the range of the mandolin. Stay tuned for more on that front.



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“Into The Eddy” (Meditative and devotional music and poetry.)

Enjoy the meditative grooves, experimental music and soft sounds of “Into The Eddy”.

Dip your thoughts into  the mystic poetry from around the world and throughout the ages.

Enjoy a sample of an early version of Reflections.

Here is a video clip of “Falling Leaves” from the vespers service “The Mystery You Embody”.

More video clips and recordings will be coming soon!

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Twigs ~

Brown and white ~

Straight ~

Narrow ~

Against the ground ~

Pushing up stones ~

To lift and point ~

Twigs back ~

Up ~~

G. Stevens

Here is a new Jazz Folks piece called “Twigs and Stones“. Another tune preparing for the vesper service this coming March.

Melvana Jelaluddin Rumi (1207-1273)

Translation by Coleman Bark

Today, like every other day,
we wake up empty and frightened.
Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

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Sit ~ 
Meditate ~
Play that horn ~
All night ~
Breathe ~
Deeply ~
Breathe ~
Breathe ~
Exhale ~
Sometimes it is the breath that is all there is……….so Exhale 
G. Stevens

All I Was Doing Was Breathing

By Mirabai (translated by Robert Bly)

Something has reached out and taken in the beams of my eyes.
There is a longing, it is for his body, for every hair of that dark body.
All I was doing was being, and the Dancing Energy came by my house.
His face looks curiously like the moon, I saw it from the side, smiling.
My family says: “Don’t ever see him again!” And they imply things in a low voice.
But my eyes have their own life; they laugh at rules, and know whose they are.
I believe I can bear on my shoulders whatever you want to say of me.
Mira says: Without the energy that lifts mountains, how am I to live?

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Something new? Here is some new material:

Holy Crap! It has been a long time since I visited let alone wrote something for this site. So in lieu of a thoughtful insightful post here are a couple of new songs that I have been working on. Enjoy!


Reflections” is an instrumental piece I wrote anticipating my next vespers service in March of 2012.

I have been doing some songwriting lately for a side project called the “Lucky Dogs” here is a “Lucky Dogs” recording of one of my songs: Leaves Of The Trees

Have a great New Year.

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“The Heart At Peace”
A multi media event celebrating the mystic poets with music by Glenn Stevens.

Don’t forget the free musical service with Glenn Stevens, Christopher Reba, Sarah Heath, and Lydia Smith on March 18th at the Unitarian Society of New Haven.

This is a Friday night vespers service, part of the Unitarian Society’s once a month vespers program.

Hope you can join us.
March 18th at 7:00 PM
700 Hartford Turnpike,
Hamden, CT
(203) 288-1807

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