September 27, 2012, 10:41 pm


My new CD, "Open Spaces," has just been released on Lunazure Records! It features uber-pianist Jim Ridl, the great bassist Steve Varner, and virtuoso violinist Zach Brock. This one is different than any others I've recorded and I am really happy with the way it turned out. It's available now from Amazon, CD Baby, and other places on line.
There will be a CD release event (I'm never sure what one calls these things -- a release party/celebration/evening/whatever?); here are the details:
Charles Pillow, reeds
Jim Ridl, piano
Steve Varner, bass
MS, drums

Friday, October 12th, 2012
7:00 - 11:00 p.m.

The Deerhead Inn
---about an hour and twenty minutes out of Manhattan, off Route 80 East.
5 Main Street
Delaware Water Gap, PA
(570) 424-2000
Slight cover charge
No minimum
Hope you can come out and spend some time with us!
February 8, 2012, 9:19 am


11 February --  SPATIAL EDITION II: Quartet w/ Uri Caine, Ralph Bowen, Steve Varner @ The Deerhead Inn (Delaware Water Gap, PA)
10 March --  THE ALEMBIC TRIO: Dave Liebman, John Patitucci @ The Deerhead Inn
16 March --  MICHAEL COLLINS QUINTET w/ Clay Jenkins, Jim Ridl, Paul Rostock @ The Deerhead Inn
14 April --  THE BENNIE MAUPIN ENSEMBLE @ Cal Tech Jazz Festival, Pasadena, CA (performance time 3:00 p.m.)
21 April -- LARRY GELB TRIO w/ Steve LaSpina @Small's, NYC, 4-7 p.m.
28 April -- ALAN BROADBENT TRIO w/ Putter Smith @ The Deerhead Inn
[Writing Hiatus: May - July]
2 August -- DAVE LIEBMAN MASTER CLASS CONCERT @ NYU w/ Phil Markowitz, Tony Marino
9 September -- COTA Festival with Lineage, feat. Dave Liebman, Vic Juris, MS,  Evan Gregor, Bobby Avey, Matt Vashlishan
14 September -- Michael Collins Quartet with Bobby Avey, Evan Gregor, MS @ The Deerhead Inn
29 September -- Larry Gelb Trio w/ Steve LaSpina @ Small's, NYC, 4:30 - 7:00 pm
12 October -- "Open Spaces" CD Release Event: My quartet w/ Charles Pillow, Jim Ridl, and Steve Varner, @ The Deerhead Inn
25 October -- THE BENNIE MAUPIN ENSEMBLE, Benefit Concert, Woodbury, Long Island, NY.


Note: All Deerhead Inn gigs are from 7 to 11 p.m.
August 6, 2005, 11:41 am

"Michael is one of the most involved, sensitive, and musical drummers I have known, plus -- he swings!! Calling him a drummer isn't really good enough -- he inhales the music and gives you a lovely breeze in return." -- Bob Brookmeyer

"A wonderful drummer...a fresh voice who shares a common experience and love for the music. A real plus to the East Coast jazz community." -- Dave Liebman

"Michael Stephans is the thunder, the storm, and the calm before it. He beats your heart as your heart beats." -- Leroy Downs, The Jazz Cat

"...a melodic, unique, and outstanding drummer." -- L.A. Jazz Scene "Stephans throws the book away on drumming -- he plays completely by gut feeling." -- All About Jazz

"In the world of modern drumming...Michael Stephans is one of the true keepers of the flame." -- Bennie Maupin


WELCOME to my web site! I´m glad you could drop in for a visit. You´ll find a little taste of this and that here: You´ll hear and see some excerpts of what I think are some very interesting recordings and concerts that I´ve been fortunate enough to be part of, including some delightful music with my friend and mentor, jazz icon Bob Brookmeyer, and my recent recording as a leader, featuring three generations of Miles Davis alumni: woodwind masters Dave Liebman and Bennie Maupin, and percussionist and rhythmic visionary Munyungo Jackson. Along with these esteemed artists, you´ll hear one of jazz´ best and most in-demand bassists, Scott Colley.

Also, recent releases include an innovative duo CD with Dave Liebman, a multi-ensemble CD from a great young saxophonist named Matt Vashlishan, and a CD of a mid-80's group called Seventh Avenue with the great bassist John Patitucci and saxophonist Bob Sheppard.

Forthcoming CD's include my new quartet recording, "Open Spaces, and a project with Dave Liebman and a multi-generational band called "Lineage."

In addition to the music, you´ll have access to selected poems, some from my first two books, and some from a soon-to-be published volume. You´ll also be privy to selected photos and memoirs of a life in jazz; and perhaps, we´ll get to kick around some ideas, as they surface on e-mail. In any case, thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy your time here……..michael



August 6, 2005, 11:17 am

Michael leads three distinct but interrelated lives. As a college professor, he holds a Ph.D. in education, and two Master’s degrees, in English and education respectively. He has taught at three prominent universities and is currently in residence at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches writing. Michael has also been active as an award-winning poet, writer, and jazz journalist, often writing liner notes and promotional material for such luminaries as Bennie Maupin, Bob Brookmeyer, Darek Oles, and the late Bob Florence. His work has been published in many literary journals, and he has authored three books of poetry and fiction, and is currently writing a book about jazz. 

A prominent jazz musician, Michael has performed and recorded with a wide array of jazz artists, including Bob Brookmeyer, Bennie Maupin, Dave Liebman, Pharoah Sanders, Charlie Byrd, Vic Juris, Don Menza, Bobby Bradford, Buddy Colette, Alan Broadbent, Uri Caine, Theo Saunders, Bob Florence, Mike Melvoin, Bud Shank, John Patitucci, Karl Berger, Vinne Golia, and many others. He has also played with personalities as wildly diverse as The Rolling Stones, Cher, David Bowie, Shirley MacLaine, and Natalie Cole, to name a few. 

In addition to his performance activities, Michael was awarded composition grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Percussive Arts Society. The former afforded him the opportunity to write a large ensemble piece called “Shapes and Visions” for the vibraphonist Karl Berger, which was performed at the Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.; and the latter gave him the opportunity to compose a solo work for drum set called “Downside-Up,” which has been performed frequently at regional and national competitions, recitals, and festivals. His poem,"Memorandum," has been set to music for choral ensemble and received its world premiere recently at the University of Miami.  

Michael is currently a member of the Bennie Maupin Ensemble; "Lineage," a band he co-leads with NEA Jazz Master/ saxophonist Dave Liebman;  "Trio Frio," which features the great guitarist Vic Juris and equally astounding bassist Francois Moutin; and "Spatial Edition," an exciting quartet featuring guitarist Juris, the brilliant pianist/composer Jim Ridl, and one of NY's finest bassists, Steve Varner.


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