Stephanie Trick “has come to practically dominate the stride piano field,” notes reviewer Jack Rummel. Harlem stride piano, which developed in the 1920s and ‘30s, is an orchestral style oftwo-handed piano playing that not only swings, but is also technically demanding and exciting to watch. Louis Mazetier, a respected interpreter of this genre, writes in the Bulletin of the Hot Club of France that she has “won the esteem of specialists in the genre with wonderful interpretations of stride classics, James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, and Don Lambert (which she learned by ear). She plays these pieces with a punch that is matched by her precise interpretation.”
A classically trained pianist, Stephanie began playing piano at the age of five. During the time between her beginning years and high school, her piano teacher exposed her to early jazz, and the syncopation and swinging rhythm piqued her interest. While in college, it became clear to Stephanie that she wanted to pursue stride and classic jazz styles professionally.
With a swinging approach that includes boogie woogie and blues from the late ‘20s era plus Fats Waller and Ralph Sutton, Stephanie was the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Kobe-Breda Jazz Friendship Award, and has performed in many parts of the United States as well as in Europe in a variety of venues, including the Teatro Dal Verme in Milan, Italy, the Breda Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, the Arbors Records Invitational Jazz Party, the Sacramento Music Festival, and the Cincy Blues Fest in Cincinnati. In 2008 and again in 2010, she was invited to perform at the international Stride and Swing Summit in Boswil, Switzerland.
A serious student, passionate about traditional jazz and stride heritage, she has studied under a number of celebrated musicians, including Louis Mazetier, Rossano Sportiello, Carl Sonny Leyland, and Danny Coots. Graduating from college with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, she was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society at the University of Chicago.
In an effort to bring a greater appreciation for traditional jazz and its integral role in the development of American culture, Stephanie shares anecdotes about stride masters of the past during her performances and gives presentations to students in special programs about the history of early jazz from ragtime to swing. Stephanie is also working on a program featuring the music of James P. Johnson and other stride piano composers, set to words and sung by Grammy-nominated lyricist and vocalist Lorraine Feather (see www.nouveaustride.com). Another project she enjoys working on is a four-hands piano duo with Paolo Alderighi, in which they create fresh arrangements of songs from the swing era (see www.paoloandstephanie.com).
Stephanie’s latest CD (with Paolo Alderighi) is “Two for One,” comprised of original and fresh arrangements of songs from the Swing Era, along with some ragtime and blues, played in four hands. “Something More,” recorded on the Victoria Records label in March 2011, features her work with a trio. “Stephanie Trick LIVE” was recorded in May 2010 and awarded the “New Talent Prize 2011” by the Hot Club of France. A video version of the Sheldon concert with bonus material was released on DVD in June 2011. Her 2008 CD, “Hear That Rhythm!,” has an emphasis on the stride works of Waller, Johnson, and Smith. “Ragtime Tricks” features the works of Joplin and other classic ragtime composers, with some tasteful embellishments. “Piano Tricks,” her debut 2005 solo album, is a combination of stride, ragtime, jazz, and classical selections. (CD track listings, video clips, ordering information, and more may be found on her website at www.stephanietrick.com.)