Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Michael Stevenson began his guitar studies with Mr. William Warren at the Northwestern House of Music and Dance. There he later obtained a position as a teacher of guitar, bass, Harmony and Theory.
Michael's first performance as a vocalist was in the Springhill Baptist Church Junior Choir. As a guitarist, his first performance was at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Prior to leaving Detroit, Michael played with The Capitals, Orthea Barnes, Toni Booker, and Kasuku Mafia's Young Success Band. He had his first studio experience working with Motown songwriters Sylvia Moy and Jamie Branford.
As a member of the Show Bands: 'U.C.C.B.' and 'Sweet Taste of Sin/Sweet Story', traveling extensively across the USA, Canada, and Japan. Michael played behind or shared the stage with such musical greats as:
While living in Los Angeles CA., Michael did numerous recording sessions and Motion Picture soundtracks; including 'American Pop'.
Michael states: "Some of the most memorable meetings and friendships I made while in L.A. include: Alex Haley, Little Richard, Ed Townsend, David Townsend, Maurice White & Philip Bailey of Earth Wind & Fire, Johnny Otis, Shuggie Otis, David II, Fred Wesley, and Rickey Minor."
Besides working as a session player Michael also Co-Produced an album on Mary Love, to whom he was married and wrote songs with. He worked as a Musical Director, Copyist, Songwriter, Publisher (Lovenson Music), Producer (Stevenson-Love Productions), and Epic Records Recording Artist with the band "The Dr.s" (Album entitled 'Rx 1').
Michael returned to Detroit and played behind The Floaters and Five Special and resumed teaching guitar, bass, Harmony and Theory, beginners' drums, flute, saxophone, clarinet, and keyboards. He also started another Publishing company (Ssor Music).
It was through a recording project with another group, (Just Us as lead vocalist, bassist, and lead guitarist), that Michael met Ken Sutton of WaterFall Records.
Ken and Michael continued their friendship, which grew into a plan to unite and to move forward in a business partnership that blossomed into the next version of WaterFall Records and the creation of DummyDog Productions.
Still doing free-lance work as guitarist and producer, Michael has performed with the Gospel artist Jamison And Company and with the band Just Us and doing recording sessions. Michael also performed in the orchestra as guitarist/synth-guitarist for the Rosedale Park Players rendition of “The Wiz” with Musical Director William Wooten.
Currently Michael is the guitarist/synth-guitarist of the contemporary jazz group, Stay Awhile. The band was initiated by Michael and Charles (Chuck) Ayers, former drummer with Just Us. Chuck introduced Michael to pianist David Tucker, and Michael suggested using former Just Us and Labyrinth bassist Dwight Young. During the first guest appearance by Stay, David invited saxophonist/flutist O'Pelton Parker to sit in. O'Pelton was then invited to become a member. STAY's first public appearance was at the Detroit Opera House.
Stay had a guest bassist, George Williams with the group in October of 2009 until March of 2010; working in tandem with Dwight Young. In August of 2010 rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Phil Grafton joined the ranks to help out until a permanent keyboardist could be found.
Stay has undergone additional personnel changes: when Chuck and Michael first decided to begin a Contemporary/Cool Jazz band back in 2007, the first bassist was Neal Ivory, who was also a former member of Just Us. Unfortunately, Neal had other commitments. Neal has returned, replacing Dwight. Replacing David on keyboards is Trent Holley. Trent and Michael worked together in a Gospel group, Jamison and Company, and had met via a recording session at WaterFall Studios back in 2004. Stay also had a name change: Stay Awhile.
Michael and Trent also perform together as band members for the Gospel vocal group, “The Sounds of Unity”. You can buy their new single, Adam's Song (Every Breath); written and produced by Terry Tuck, at CD Baby.
Michael performing with Running Hot with Guest Percussionist Tobias Dumas
Michael is now accepting students! To arrange for music lessons, send an email: Stevenson Enterprises. Stevenson Enterprises can be contracted to build a Web Site for you.
Read Michael's latest article: An Aspect of Musicianship. Hope you enjoy it.
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Michael R. Stevenson of Stevenson Enterprises