B i o g r a p h y
A native Philadelphian, Mike Stephens grew up in the heart of West Philly. In his early years, he performed with the All-Philadelphia Jazz and Concert Bands.
Immediately after college, he joined the US Air Force and began touring with several military band ensembles. He began to master his talent by competing in several Command-Level and Air Force wide talent competitions – winning several 1st Place Instrumental Solo and Instrumental Group awards.
After the military, Mike made the Washington DC area his home and began collaborating with several talented musicians; primarily, Mr. Deginal Boykin, thus forming “MSP - The Mike Stephens Project.”The net of this realized a perfect synergy that was responsible for the explosion of his debut CD, “Basically Speaking.”
This explosion led to several appearances on the FOX 5 Morning News, in which the station chose Stephens’ song “Cobbs Creek Park” as its regular theme song. In addition, Stephens’ song “Jazmyne” was named the most requested song on Howard University radio, “The WHUR Lunchtime Café.”
This initial success led to performances at many local and national venues such as the legendary Blues Alley of Georgetown, DAR Constitution Hall, and the Baltimore Lyric Opera House. MSP has also shared the stage with many other national and international artists to include Keith Washington, Regina Bell, The YellowJackets, The Rippingtons, Grover Washington Jr., Bobby Caldwell, Chuck Mangione, Ramsey Lewis, Ray Parker Jr., Gerald Albright, Nelson Rangel, Lalah Hathaway, Norman Brown, The Blackbirds, Paul Taylor, and many more. They’ve performed at the Washington Capital Jazz Fest, Baltimore’s Harbor Fest, The Potomac Jazz & Seafood Festival, The Alexandria Jazz Festival, The Fort Dupont Summer Concert Series, and The Carter Baron Summer Jazz Festival.
Their success sparked the release of a second CD entitled “Half Past Autumn”, which features the song “Nuthin’ Yet” written by Grammy award winning Bassist, Victor Wooten (Bela Fleck & the Flecktones).
The Mike Stephens Project was the only local group to share the stage at the grand opening for the BET Sound Stage in Largo, MD with celebrities to include R&B vocal group 112, actors Lorenz Tate, Leon, actresses Pam Grier & Lynn Whitfield, boxer Michael Spinks, and comedian Michael Colyar.
The Mike Stephens Project remains as one of the hottest and best kept secrets in the Washington metropolitan area!