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Playing this summer: Jim Stevens

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 16, 2010 - HOME: St. Louis, AGE: 46

INSTRUMENT: Saxophone

HOBBY: Racing cars. I raced dirt track stock cars for 10 years. Then Road Racing with the SCCA for another 10. I still hold two track records at Gateway International. Music is my priority now, but I periodically instruct at high performance driving schools and racing schools when time permits. Some think I'm a better driver than saxophone player!

LAST CONCERT I ATTENDED: Peter Mayer Group

LATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Finishing a 5k run

WHY I DO WHAT I DO: Because the people in the music community are the best!

QUOTE: "There's more than one way to do something right."

PROFILE: Jim Stevens grew up in Belleville, and by the age of 13, he was sitting in at jazz clubs in the metro area. He began playing with Ralph Butler and Bob Kuban while he was still in high school and attended North Texas State University for a time before returning to St. Louis to lead his own band, the Bottom Line. The group appeared in the film "White Palace," and Stevens continued to work with many bands throughout the area.

Jim recently decided to focus on leading his own band, and the Jim Stevens Group -- combining his own exceptional work on saxophone with the talented R. Scott Bryan on vocals and percussion and Pete Ruthenburg on keyboard and vocals -- has gained considerable attention and strong fan support over the past year.

The debut recording by the Jim Stevens group, "The Answer," is in production and expected to be released in late 2010.

HEAR A PERFORMANCE: The Jim Stevens Group is playing Wed., June 16 from 5-8 p.m. at the "Parties in the Plaza" Concert Series on the north side of the Old Post Office (801 Locust Ave.)

On Mon., July 12, the band will be featured at Heman Park in University City from 6:30-8:30 p.m. as part of the Starlight Concert Series. Both concerts are free.

Check out www.jimstevensgroup.com for the band's complete schedule.

Terry Perkins is a freelance writer who has long covered the St. Louis music scene.

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