As the sun began to set, Stephen Gordon Quartet with Jason Marsalis took the stage at the Savannah Jazz Festival.

Growing up, Stephen Gordon was heavily influenced by early Blues and Swing music with jazz superstars like Jelly Roll Morton, known for hits like “King Porter Stomp,” and Art Tatum who was well known for his song, “Tea For Two.”

Gordon began his musical career with the piano and carried on to learn brass instruments and then the drums.

A multi-instrument virtuoso, Gordon has performed alongside other great musicians like Ellis Marsalis, Wayne Henderson, Oteil Burbridge, Maceo Parker, Joey DeFrancesco, Allen Toussaint, Jason Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis and many others. He can be heard on records like The Ellis Marsalis Quintet Plays The Music Of Ellis Marsalis (Elm Records 2017), Mondre Moffett “Royal Decree” (2006), Johnny Summers Meets The Ellis Marsalis Trio and The Solos Unit “Rap City,” released in 2007.

Of course, Jason Marsalis’s music career began at an early age. The son of a pianist and music educator, Jason began developing a strong interest in music which led to his parents buying his first drum set— a toy of course! But, by the age of six, he had a real drum set and began taking lessons from legendary New Orleans drummer James Black. He would go on to graduate from Loyola University in New Orleans, studying composition from notable classical composer, Roger Dickerson.

Marsalis has an impressive discography appearing in musical groups as well as individually in dozens of albums. He has made numerous appearances in groups and has shined as an individual performer. While serving as the co-founder of the Latin-jazz group Los Hombres Calientes, he recorded two albums with the group as well as two albums himself, Year of the Drummer (1998) and Music in Motion (2000). Although Marsalis left Los Hombres in 2000, he was able to gain more focus with the Marcus Roberts trio. Marsalis continues to excite and intrigue audiences as both a veteran performer and composer.

Some of his most recent albums include Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet In a World of Mallets (2013), Scan-Am Quartet’s Atlantic Bridges (2010), The Edwin Livingston Group’s Transitions (2010), John Ellis & Double Wide’s Puppet Mischief (2010), and Stephen Riley’s El Goucho (2010).