For the award-winning singer, songwriter, and saxophonist, the story keeps getting better. His string of hit singles, millions of albums sold, and a 28-year recording career aside, Stigers’ commitment to artistic growth, and to bringing new tunes to the Great American Songbook, has become unparalleled in modern music.
Barnstorming concert halls, festivals and clubs everywhere from Moscow to Manhattan, accompanied one night by his quartet, another by big band or orchestra, Stigers continues to release new work nearly every year, frequently collaborating with his musical heroes. Along the way, this musician who began his career playing standards in a Boise hotel lobby while moonlighting as drummer in a punk rock band has redefined the constitution of contemporary jazz singing.
“I was the kid who worshipped songs and the musicians who wrote and recorded them,” he remembers. “Back then, pop radio played everything from Aretha Franklin to Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye to Willie Nelson, Joni Mitchell to Elton John. I loved it all, and I studied it.” Often euphoric and always elegant, Stigers possesses a curator’s knack for hearing a song, framing its heart, and making it his own—be it the work of Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Wilco, or The Kinks.
Stigers’ repertoire is a reflection of his appreciation for the fundaments of tone and craft, and for quality—the progression of his work is both organic and practical. “Jazz songs used to be pop songs. Jazz has always been about reinvention,” Stigers notes.