Born: February 27, 1966 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
It’s the story of a guy who’s really not reasonable since he’s very passionate. It‘s the atypical course of a man born in 1966 and who, after studying math and graduating engineering school with honors, ended up in Saudi Arabia in the early ‘90’s to practice his expatriate electronics engineering skills with all the modern comfort. Upon his return, however, he refused to take the professional road that was safely mapped out. He chose to quit everything and to leap into the unknown in order to fulfill his destiny: To become a full-time «jazz musician.» How did he do that? The «old-school» way: He furiously taught himself how to play. He refused to go to jazz school and instead ventured into the school of jazz. The school of the night and of chance encounters, oral tradition, after-hours jam sessions, and friendly initiations with musicians who were inevitably better than him. Why? Because when he was 18, he had experienced the shock of listening to last-era Miles. Bam! He’d caught the jazz virus. As a result, he embarked with eagerness and determination (he’s rather self-willed and stubborn) on the backwards discovery of the entire history of that musical genre. It’s the story of a guy who received, as a gift for his fortieth birthday in 2006, the realisation of a dream: Recording his first album as a leader, «First Page» -2006-(Bee Jazz- France). His producer, Alexandre Baudin, is his pupil, an attorney by trade who developed a craze for the young man with the jovial enthusiasm, so much so that he started a label, ALB Records, on his behalf. Before he could get to this point, Stéphane Spira went through ten years of trials and tribulations. A decade spent dispelling doubts, steering clear of discouragements and relentlessly believing in his lucky star at all cost. In 1996 he started his first quartet with Jean- Luc Roumier, the very (not to say overly) secretive guitarist. With him he practiced writing an entire repertoire of original works. Along with the saxophone, composition then became his second passion, which allowed him to freely blend his melodic verve and his poetic knowledge of harmony. In order to continue his devoted pursuit of swing, Stéphane Spira found a way to induce what would soon be called luck, such as the decisive encounters with a few improbable «guardian angels.» First, there was Bernard Rabaud, who noticed him during a jam session at Le Petit Opportun during the glorious days of the «Nuits Blanches.» It’s also there that Stéphane met Michel «Mickey» Graillier. The pianist known for his lunar lyricism immediately became fond of this young saxophone player so full or fervor and desire to learn. The same happened with Olivier Hutman, with whom he would record «First Page.» This next chapter began with a loss, the death of his father Max in November of 2007, a colorful character and antiquarian with a mad passion for . To pay tribute, Stéphane decided to dedicate an entire album to him. Spirabassi released in 2009 (BEE jAZZ - France) The choice of pianist Giovanni Mirabassi became obvious. The two musicians had met for the first time only a few months after Spira’s return from Saudi Arabia. It’s the story of a guy who’s now totally happy and fulfilled. The future lies before him like another adventure ready to be experienced without any restraint, a «second page» to write. After a wonderful three-month stay, Stéphane moves to New York city in January 2010 while still working in France allowing the release of a French musical project with the famous “Hymne au soleil” orchestra conducted by Lionel Belmondo: “Round about Jobim” in 2012.
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