Grammy-nominated, Memphis-bred bassist/composer Stephan Crump is a rising light on the New York music scene. As collaborator with mainstream jazz luminaries, downtown explorers, singer/songwriters and others, he has become known for the elegance and purposeful groove of his acoustic and electric bass playing, and for transforming his instrument into a speaking entity with magnetic pull on audiences. As a composer, he is emerging as a singular voice.
Shunning barriers of musical genre, Stephan has performed and recorded in the US and across the globe with a diverse list of musicians- from Motown legends Ashford and Simpson to Portishead’s Dave McDonald, The Violent Femmes’ Gordon Gano, Jim Campilongo, Patti Austin, Jorma Kaukonen, Lucy Kaplansky, Mahavishnu Project, Big Ass Truck, Dave Liebman, Billy Hart, Sonny Fortune, Bobby Previte, and late blues legend Johnny Clyde Copeland.
Currently, Stephan can be heard as a long-standing member of Vijay Iyer Trio, Jen Chapin Trio, Ches Smith Trio, Secret Keeper, and his own Rosetta Trio.While maintaining a busy schedule as sideman, Stephan remains intensely involved with composing and performing his own music, which can be heard in Miramax, HBO, Showtime and Simple Focus films, and on his eight critically-acclaimed albums as leader.
Stephan was raised in music. His mother, an amateur pianist from Paris, and his Memphian father, an architect and jazz drummer, provided a home rich with their native cultures. After numerous years of classical piano study and two years on alto saxophone, Stephan picked up the bass guitar in his early teens and was soon performing in festivals and touring the Southeastern U. S. Before leaving Memphis for college, Crump co-led a jazz/rock trio which performed and recorded his original compositions.
Stephan received his Bachelor of Music degree from Amherst College, where he studied under Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lewis Spratlin and was awarded the Sundquist Prize for performance and composition. At Amherst he began studying the acoustic bass, with a focus on classical training that culminated in a year of study abroad in Paris with Gary Karr-protégé Patrick Hardouineau. His jazz studies at Amherst included work with Max Roach, Frank Foster, and Ray Drummond. After college, he moved straight to New York and for a time continued studies with bass virtuoso Michael Moore.
Crump launched his solo performance career as an invited artist at the 2009 International Society of Bassists conference and has since released three recordings documenting his duo collaborations with alto saxophonist Steve Lehman, pianist James Carney, and guitarist Mary Halvorson. His all-string Rosetta Trio has just released its third album, Thwirl.
Stephan is an enthusiastic endorser of Velvet strings, Aguilar bass amplifiers, AMT acoustic bass microphones, and David Gage Czech Ease travel bass.