Matthew Stevens & Walter Smith III 'In Common'

Wednesday 30th March 2022
Date: Wednesday 30th March Ticket Prices: £30.00 - £45.00
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Wednesday 30th March 2022

Doors open time

Second House

Ticket Prices:

£30.00 - £45.00


Matthew Stevens & Walter Smith III 'In Common'

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Growing out of the long-standing collaboration between saxophonist Walter Smith III and guitarist Matthew Stevens, In Common celebrates community, language and an ethos shared by an exceptional and diverse group of musicians in the American improvised music scene. Smith and Stevens have recorded three albums featuring musicians of all ages, backgrounds and experience in new combinations, including Marcus Gilmore, Joel Ross, Linda May Han Oh, Micah Thomas, Harish Raghavan, Nate Smith, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kris Davis and Dave Holland. Working from the premise that shorter songs as well as free improvisations could facilitate interaction and interpretation from musicians, all three In Common albums offer a unique chance to hear musical conversations among musicians from all corners of the scene, sometimes playing together for the first time. Over the last twenty years, Smith and Stevens have collectively played on over 150 albums, and performed at virtually every major jazz festival in the world with artists such as Roy Haynes, Esperanza Spalding, Terence Blanchard, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Ambrose Akinmusire, Dave Douglas, Terri Lyne Carrington, Jason Moran and Herbie Hancock. Smith lives in Boston, where he is Chair of Woodwinds at Berklee College of Music. Stevens lives in New York City and is a Professor of Jazz Studies at the Peabody Conservatory at John Hopkins.



Born into a musical family, Stevens began studying piano at age 7, and switched to the guitar at age 11. After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2004, Stevens began to show up everywhere, as an essential contributor to new work by strong artists including Christian Scott, Terri Lyne Carrington, Harvey Mason, ERIMAJ, Sean Jones, Walter Smith III, Linda Oh, NEXT Collective and, notably, Esperanza Spalding, in whose Emily’s D+Evolution project Stevens was key. Stevens then played on, composed for, and was an additional producer on Spalding’s innovative project, Exposure.

In 2016 DownBeat Magazine included Stevens in their 25 For the Future issue and have placed him in their Annual Critics Poll Rising Star Guitar Category for the past two years. His performances have been consistently lauded in Billboard, DownBeat Magazine, The Fader, The Guardian, Guitar Player Magazine, Jazz Times, Mojo, NPR, The New York Times, Pitchfork, PopMatters, Stereogum, Vice Noisey, and more.

In 2015 he released his debut album, Woodwork, as a bandleader under Whirlwind

Recordings/ Crystal Math. Woodwork received enthusiastic reviews from DownBeatMagazine, The Irish Times, Jay Z’s Life and Times, Jazz Times Magazine, Jazz Wise Magazine, The Kansas City Star, The Ottawa Citizen, and more. LA Weekly described Woodwork as “an amalgamation of modern jazz and neo-fusion elements which showcase…sonic versatility and savvy producing chops.” Woodwork’s iTunes feature review praises Stevens’s “immense melodic gifts and deceptively intricate playing.”

In 2017, Stevens released Preverbal under Ropeadope/Crystal Math. Mojo praised Stevens’s “singular style [that] dissolves the demarcation lines between jazz, rock, and ambient music." Pitchfork calls the music “honest and soulful” and NPR reported that Preverbal is “music [that] advances the ideals of modern jazz.”

Stevens currently resides in Harlem, New York City.


Review on In Common 3 by Nate Chinen: 

Date: Wednesday 30th March Ticket Prices: £30.00 - £45.00
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