"Not Your Average Banjo" features tenor banjo virtuoso Stephen DiBonaventura along with world-renowned jazz guitarist Steve Giordano, double bassist Steve Meashey and percussionist John Mosemann. Jazz arrangements by Steve Giordano of American and Latin standards are fresh and creative. Over 115 minutes of music is presented on this double compact disc recording. Each musician is a master player in his own right and performs with expressiveness and lyricism. Grammy-Award winning musician and reviewer, Eddy Davis, noted that Stephen "has developed a wonderful musical mind and knows how to use it, which for anyone is a thing of beauty. He has surrounded himself with a select group of 'First Rate' talent. I would normally go on and on about Stephen and his wonderful musicians and arrangements, but that could take thousands of words, which they all deserve. Such beautiful phrasing, musicianship and above all taste."
Stephen DiBonaventura was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is virtuoso on the tenor banjo, a performer and clinician that has conducted numerous master classes on the instrument. He has developed a distinctive lyrical jazz style that is seldom heard on the banjo. He has been a featured headliner and concert performer throughout the United States and abroad, performing at All Frets concerts, a Mid-America Banjo Enthusiasts festivals; the Peninsula Banjo festivals, the Sacramento Banjoramas, the International Jazz Banjo festival in Dusseldorf Germany and jazz festivals in Europe and the U.K. Steve was honored as special guest banjoist when the U.S. Air Force Band appeared at the White House. He has also performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
The editor of Jazz Banjo says, “There is one banjo player that I have enjoyed listening to whose music really lives up to the name ‘Jazz Banjo,’ and that is Stephen DiBonaventura. He has taken the tenor banjo and created an exciting sound that is comparable to the music of some of the best jazz guitarists today.”
Steve Giordano is a Philadelphia-based jazz musician – a guitar player’s guitarist. He is modern and progressive jazz soloist and composer. His music features rich harmonies and lush and unpredictable passages. He has recorded with Muse records in the company of Mike Richmond, Billy Hart, and Barry Miles. He formed an ensemble known as the Steve Giordano Spacetet. The Spacetet is the culmination of decades of Giordano's compositional development and musical relationships. The Spacetet is comprised of Bob Meashey on trumpet and flugelhorn, Brian Howell on bass, John Mosemann on drums and percussion and Peter Cobb on alto saxophone. The Spacetet has since released three recordings featuring these compositions: Sea Dreams (2004), Utopia (2006), and Timeline (2008). He has performed at The Painted Bride Art Center, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Clef Club, the University of Pennsylvania, Drew University and Chris' Jazz Cafe and Ortlieb's Jazzhaus. He has toured Europe as a soloist and educator offering master classes in Italy at the Accademia di Chitarra Moderna and continuing collaborations with Sicilian jazz musicians drummer Francesco Branciamore and guitarist Andrea Quartarrone. Locally Giordano has enjoyed inspired duets with various artists including Stephen DiBonaventura on banjo, John Swana on trumpet, and John Blake on violin. Player, composer, arranger, synthesist, writer, teacher. Exploring, challenging, pushing, experimenting, and enjoying the making of beautiful music with dedicated Philadelphia musicians. Ideas ever evolving. Playing from his heart with passion always.