Biography - Stephen J. Wood
From his earliest days as a piano student at the renowned Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester during the 1970’s, Stephen J. Wood has refused to tread anything other than his own, unique path. Seminally influenced by jazz artists Dave Brubeck, Oscar Peterson, Dudley Moore and Michel Petrucciani and early twentieth century modern composers Maurice Ravel, Francis Poulenc, Erik Satie and George Gershwin, Steve has sought to meld the seemingly disparate worlds of classical and jazz music in his teaching, performance, arranging and composition to high acclaim.
His work has been presented on BBC Contrasts (1978-1983), BBC Jazz Organ (1965-1979) and the Humphrey Littleton programme BBC Best of Jazz (1990), in addition to independent broadcasters such as Jazz FM and Piccadilly Radio. Celebrated as a Hammond organist as well as a pianist, he has performed with many UK artists and the American jazz guitarist Jack Wilkins with whom he recorded the 1999 albums ‘Bluesin'.
As a ‘Third Stream’ pianist, composer, arranger and producer, Stephen J. Wood stylistically, sits somewhere between classical and jazz, but he is also well-known in Scotland as an innovative arranger of traditional Gaelic and Scottish songs and tunes for solo piano. Stephen’s work includes Sketches Books 1, 2 and 3, Eight Pieces for Piano; the Contemporary Scottish Collection for Piano - six books and three CD/digital albums; and his highly acclaimed Hinterland - Suite for Solo Piano, all available as sheet music books, CDs and downloads. Most recently he has been commissioned to write for the ABRSM piano exam syllabus. The ABRSM have also recently published 'Cool' from Sketches book 2 in their Grade 5 Piano anthology for 2017/8, as have the Australian Music Examination Board, who have published 'Stomp' from Sketches book 3 in their current Grade 8 piano syllabus. In addition to being available direct from his websites, Stephen’s books are sold and distributed through Music Exchange and Boosey and Hawkes worldwide and can be ordered and purchased from your local music retailer. All recordings CDs and track downloads are available direct, or from CD Baby, Amazon and iTunes.
Stephen J. Wood's Sketches, Hinterland and Contemporary Scottish Collection demonstrate clearly the synthesis of his musical influences and have received critical acclaim. Many of the Scottish pieces have been used in The Royal National Mòd in Scotland since 2001 and have received enthusiastically by many eminent musicians and educators. These books are listed and recommended by the Scottish Curriculum Authority for use in Universities', Colleges', and Schools’ music departments throughout Scotland.
In 2008 Eklectica Records and Eklectica Publishing was launched to promote the work of Stephen J. Wood.
StephenJ. Wood has had vast experience in the music industry as performer, composer/arrange and teacher for over thirty years. Stephen has a PhD related to music composition, an MA in Composition Studies (Distinction), BA (Hons) Music (First Class) and holds a Licentiate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (LGSM - Piano Teachers). A former lecturer on the BA (Hons) Music, Popular Music and Recording, and MA Performance and Composition courses at Salford University (1996-2011), Stephen continues to teach Classical and Jazz piano privately at his highly respected and sought-after piano teaching practice near Grange-Over-Sands in South Lakeland, Cumbria; inspiring students to reach diploma and professional level - many go on to working as music professionals.