Stephan Earl
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Stephan Earl

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The best kept secret in music


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Embodying elements of Jazz, Rock, Down-tempo and New Age, composer / producer Stephan Earl’s music flows across stylistic boundaries yet is focused on the principals of melody, harmony and rhythm. Enchanting and thought-provoking, Stephan composes music that is harmonically interesting and complex, yet accessible to the average listener. His music is the perfect fit for a “Nu-Jazz” world, something Stephan eagerly embraces. “There are so many styles of music that I enjoy,” said Stephan. “Yet I wanted to create a body of work focused around Jazz with ambient textures that capture your imagination and melodies that touch your soul.”

Stephan Earl’s debut album Origins released November 2009 aims to accomplish just that. Described as Nu-Jazz or Contemporary Jazz, this album is the culmination of Stephan’s years of passion and love for music. Its inspirations range from classical music of the 1920’s to World music to Rock and Contemporary Jazz. “I wanted the music of Origins to have the raw emotion of music I composed in my youth, yet represent my current thoughts and influences.”

Stephan Earl was born November 28, 1970, in Queens, NY. Although he wasn’t born into a family of musicians, Stephan grew up as a child listening to music his parents loved by such artists as Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Nat King Cole and other classic soul and R&B music of the 60’s and 70’s. At age eleven he learned to play the clarinet and within the year added flute and tenor saxophone to his woodwind arsenal. At age 12 Stephan’s Aunt purchased for him a two-octave Casio keyboard which he used to compose his first melodies. “Once I got the Casio and could play chords, I immediately became enticed with harmony and writing melodies. I took the chords and theory I was learning at sax lessons and applied it to my compositions.”

Stephan auditioned and was accepted to New York’s “Famed” LaGuardia High School for Music and Performing Arts. During these formative years he played tenor sax in the school Jazz Band, bass clarinet in the concert band and dabbled with playing guitar and bass guitar. “I never set out to be a master of all the instruments,” said Stephan. “For me it was always about composing music. But playing and familiarizing myself with many instruments helped me to learn the sound and capabilities of each instrument. This is a critical component of my music today.” During his last year at LaGuardia, Stephan switched his focus of study to the newly developed Electronic Music Composition program where he honed his craft of writing music using the latest electronic tools. Later that year Stephan received a scholarship to attend the Jazz Music Composition program at the Manhattan School of Music. Through college Stephan continued to compose music while also producing many local R&B and Hip-Hop artists.

With over 20 years composing and producing music, Stephan’s life experiences and his musical influences (including: Prince, Keiko Matsui, Steps Ahead with Michael Brecker, Yellowjackets and Oystein Sevag) helped to shape and color his artistic palette. Composing and performing on both Piano and EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument), his instruments of choice on the Origins album; Stephan Earl cultivates his sound and truly creates music that defines the artist in this moment in time.