Pianist and composer Stephen Thurston – featured on KUVO’s latest release, Live at the Oasis Volume 11

– grew up heavily involved in the Boulder music scene.

“For me, music was like an extreme sport. I would get a rush,” Stephen said. “I got hooked on it when I was about 16, and I just tried to play as much as I could after that.”

While earning a bachelors in piano performance from the University of Colorado Boulder, Stephen jammed with jazz legends Maria Schneider, David Liebman, and Brad Goode.

Currently, Stephen is the bandleader for The Thurston Group, serving up funk and soul infused jazz fusion with the aim of creating feel good beats.

“The jazz scene in Denver is definitely strong, there’s a jam almost everyday” Stephen said. “And you’ve got this crew of younger, up-and-coming musicians.”

Stephen also performs as a sideman in the Boulder bands The Outer Reaches and Jalbatross.

As a private piano instructor, Stephen specializes in equipping  intermediate students with strong fundamental skills in technique, theory, and ear training.

“I think jazz is unique because it’s so creative,” Stephen said. “I feel like jazz is the one type of music that invites you to be yourself.”

To celebrate 30 years on the air and invest in the future of jazz, KUVO interviewed 30 local musicians under the age of 30. These features will be released on-air and online June 29-October 31.


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