A native of the Bay Area, tenor saxophonist and composer Dayna Stephens is celebrated as one of his generation’s greatest instrumentalists and bandleaders. With a tone described as sinewy yet supple, and an improvisational ability that the New York Times describes as flowing “with unusual flow fluency,” Stephens draws inspiration from tenor greats Lester Young and Dexter Gordon, as well as soul and pop vocalists, including Luther Vandross and Tony Bennett. Stephens has performed alongside Brad Mehldau, Kenny Barron and many more jazz greats. His quintet for this performance features standout jazz pianist and composer Billy Childs.
INFO: 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 20. Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. $22/adv, $27/door. 427-2227. WANT TO GO? Go to santacruz.com/giveaways before 11 a.m. on Friday, July 15 to find out how you could win a pair of tickets to the show.