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 to Paris, 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.
As a result, he embarked with eagerness and determination on the backwards
discovery of the entire history of that musical genre.
In 1996 he started his first quartet with Jean-Luc Roumier. 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,
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 and for his 10 years
collaboration with Chet Baker immediately became fond of this young saxophone
player so full or fervor and desire to learn.
He records his first album in 2006: «First Page» with Olivier Hutman,Philippe Soirat,
Gilles Naturel and Stéphane Belmondo.
His second album “Spirabassi”, a duo with the pianist Giovanni Mirabassi, is released
in 2009 and is dedicated to his father who passed away in 2007.The choice of pianist
Giovanni Mirabassi was very natural. The two musicians had met for the first time
only a few months after Spira’s return from Saudi Arabia.
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.
2014 marks the release of « In Between ». The music and the title refer to Stephane’s
putting down roots and hearing new rhythms in New York City while keeping his
Paris-connection alive…« In Between » is Stéphane’s first New York recording and
features the great American Paris-based trombonist, Glenn Ferris. A musical dialogue
between an American living in Paris and a Frenchman living in New York…. "In