Born: July 13, 1976 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
Stephen Norfleet began playing saxophone in his hometown of Newport News, VA at the age of 9. At Newport News' Menchville High School, Norfleet received the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award and was also selected as a member of the U.S. Collegiate Wind Ensemble, a group of talented student musicians culled from across the United States given the opportunity to perform across Europe.
In 1994 he re-located to Richmond, VA where he received a tuition scholarship to attend Virginia Commonwealth University's Jazz Program. Past graduates include saxophonists Steve Wilson and Victor Goines, drummers Clarence Penn and Nate Smith, and Saturday Night Live bassist James Genus. Stephen graduated from VCU in 2000 with a degree in Saxophone Performance.
While in Richmond, Stephen was thrust into the role of bandleader when he created the 17-piece, internationally acclaimed Devil's Workshop Big Band. Garnering praise from around the globe plus a mention in Relix Magazine, validation arrived when the band's debut CD, Idle Hands, received a four- star review in one of the nation's leading authorities on jazz, Downbeat Magazine.
In 2003 Norfleet moved to New York City to pursue a performance career. While in New York he became an award- winning saxophonist when he was chosen by ASCAP as a recipient of their Plus Awards Program, and in 2004 he was selected to enter the Graduate Program at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music.
While continuing his studies at MSM, he studied Saxophone with Bob Mintzer and David Liebman, Studio Techniques/MIDI/Digital Audio Composition with Richard Sussman, and collaborated with noted jazz artists such as Cecil Bridgewater, Steve Slagle, Phil Markowitz and Garry Dial. In May 2006, Norfleet completed his studies at Manhattan School of Music, earning a Master's degree in Jazz/Commercial Music.
Since 2006, Stephen has continued his career as a highly sought after instrumentalist, producer and educator. In 2009 Stephen became an Apple Certified Pro and started Skyhook Sound, an audio-post production facility for advertising agencies and production companies as well as a recording studio for musicians and singer/songwriters. He currently lives in San Francisco, CA.
The arrangements of Stella & I'll Remember April are spectacular. Nice band! -Dave Liebman, Saxophonist (Miles Davis)
Steve Norfleet has put together an inspired recording of original material with a great bunch of musicians. His playing and writing are full-on, and he isn't afraid to go where no man has gone before. This is a sound and concept that is Steve's alone. He has a distinct voice that is quite recognizable. I truly enjoyed listening to this music, finding surprises and inspiring ideas all along the way. This cat can spin a tale! - Bob Mintzer, Grammy Award-Winning Saxophonist (Yellowjackets)