After studying at Berklee College of Music early nineties, Belgian saxophonist Stéphane Mercier settles for seven years in New York where he develops his career and signs for one of the most important jazz indie label: Fresh Sound/New Talent. His album, Flor de Luna, is recorded in 2000 and distributed worldwide.
He moves then to Paris before returning to Belgium, still performing internationally with bands ranging from intimist duo to big band.
In 2013, he releases not only an album that includes 16 different duos, a live performance with an international sextet, but also participates in a 300 date tour with his father as a host, having created a multi-media show about jazz history. Following that, he travels worlwide as an ambassador for the 200 year birthday celebration of Adolphe Sax, the Belgian creator of the saxophone, in countries such as Hungary, USA, Qatar, Kazhakstan,...).
In addition to his performances, Stéphane wrote a book about jazz history (to be released early 2017) and works on a series of interviews for a video project (featuring Quincy Jones, Ivan Lins, Toots Thielemans, Kurt Rosenwinkel,...).
He also takes the leadership of the Jazz Station Big Band, the house band of the famous Jazz Station club in Brussels.
1992-1995 Berklee College of Music. Diploma in Performance Major. Summa Cum Laude.
1990-1992 Royal Conservatory of Music of Brussels. Jazz Section. Two year cursus.
1988-1990 Jazz Studio of Antwerp. Jazz Music Section. Two year cursus.
1981-1988 Belgian National Music Academy. Classical Music Section. Government Medal.
Experience in Performance
• USA : Birdland, JVC New York jazz festival, the Knitting Factory, CBGB’s, the Jazz Standard, Izzy Bar, Jules, Kävehaz, S.O.B’s, Festival International de Lafayette
• Europe : Midem 2007 (Cannes), in Paris: Petit Journal Montparnasse, clubs in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Sunside, Hot Brass, Divan du Monde, Cythéa, Maison de la Radio, Belgium: Botanique, Gaume and Gouvy festivals, Lundis d’Hortense, Jazz à Liège and de Werf, Travers, Grand’place podium, RTBF, Jazz Marathon, Django à Liberchies, Marcus Mingus, Jazz Jette June, Music Village, Sounds, Théâtre 140, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Fool Moon, Jazz Station, Mons en Jazz,...
• Tours : Exile Society (rap), the B.Connection (contemporary jazz), the Interplay Collective (big band), Lundis d’Hortense and Jazzlab Series tours,...Brasil, Kazhakstan, Kirghistan, Qatar, Hungary, Bulgaria, Italy, Switzerland…
• Opening acts : Toots Thielemans, Wayne Shorter, Courtney Pine, Lee Konitz, Johnny Griffin, Abbey Lincoln, Trilok Gurtu, the Pharcytes,...
Additional Discography Stéphane Mercier Sextet “Live at Columban”, 2015
Mauro Gargano "Mo’Avast Band" Note Sonanti, Italy, 2011
Belgian Jazz Compilation : "Gramophone China Editor’s choice" (GCCD 0718-2),2008
Magali Souriau Orchestra : "Birdland Sessions" (koc-cd-8573), 1999
Thomas Gromaire : "live at the Petit Journal", Paris
The Exile Society: "Disciples of the Underground" (LMO prod., Oakland, California)
The Interplay Collective : "Aurore" (Espace2 prod., Genève), 1996
• Pôle d’Or, Belgium, sponsored by Philippe Geluck (Le Chat) as “Cultural Discovery”, 2012
• Citizen Jazz, Paris, France: Mo’Avast Band wins Elu Citizen Jazz, 2012
• Jazz Magazine, Paris, France: Mo’ Avast Band wins Revelation!, 2011
• Midem Cannes: best jazz band “Magalon-Hermans-Mercier”, 2007
• Mercier’s “Flor de Luna” proclaimed best jazz album of the year by the first Belgian newspaper: Le Soir, 2001
• Down Beat 18th Annual Student Music Award as best instrumental jazz band, 1995 (USA)
• Achievement Award in recognition of high level instrumental proficiency, Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA, USA), 1994
· University of Lafayette, LA, USA: Master Class in jazz saxophone, 2015
• Royal Conservatory of Brussels teaching assistant in jazz woodwinds, 2012-2014
• JazzBxl School of Music: composition, arrangement, ensemble, woodwinds, 2009-2011
• International School of Brussels: saxophone teacher, 2008-2013
• Music Academy of Evere (Brussels): general jazz education, woodwinds, ensemble, 2004-2009
• Jazz Studio of Antwerp: in woodwinds, arrangement, ensemble, 2004-2009
Played and/or Recorded with
Mark Turner, Seamus Blake, Chris Cheek, Randy Brecker, Antonio Sanchez, Philip Catherine, Dennis Irwin, Bai Kamara Jr, Charles Loos, Guillermo Klein, Nathalie Loriers, Mango Santamaria, Bill McHenry, Aaron Goldberg, Cheick Tidiane Seck, Jeff Ballard, Adam Deitch, Matt Penman, Marlon Browden, Jérôme Sabbagh, Francesco Bearzatti, Mauro Gargano, Fabrice Moreau, Vincent Bourgeyx, Ingrid Jenssens, Joe Martin, Jochen Rueckert, Stéphane Galland, Darren Beckett, Erik Vermeulen, Karl Jannuska, Vijay Iyer, Jean-Louis Rassinfosse, Peter Hertmans, Richard Rousselet, Frank Amsallem, Nic Thys, Melvin Butler, John Benitez, Kris Defoort, Chander Sardjoe, Paolo Loveri, Jacques Schwartz-bart, Avishai Cohen, Dré Pallemaerts, Mederic Collignon, Michel Herr, Bruno Castellucci...
• Toots Thielemans (harmonicist, guitarist) “Stéphane Mercier is a musician in constant evolution, as a player and as a composer” (2001)
• Mike Zwerin (International Herald Tribune) : “...kind of like Lee Konitz with an edge of Dolphy...good time, great sound, wonderful melodic sense and really knows how to listen”.
• Asim Memon (allaboutjazz.com) : “...an emerging innovator in contemporary jazz” (2001)
• François Louis (worldclass instrument maker) : “Beautiful lines with emotion and inspiration, and wonderful evolution in developing tools for expression”.
• Patrick Bivort (Jazz Hot): “As always, Stéphane is voluble and lyrical, and proved more than once his technical abilities on the instrument”.
• Charles Loos (pianist, composer) “Lately, he gained even more maturity and explores a very personal sound in filiation with Coltrane”
• Jacques Prouvost: "Stéphane Mercier sounds liberated and ready for any adventure, he is astonishing, free as a bird". In Jazzques, Dec.11
• Jean-Claude Vantroyen (le Soir, Dec.11):"the saxophone of Stéphane Mercier is always bewitching"
• Olivier Acosta (Citizen Jazz, Jan.12): "Stéphane Mercier is the kind of musician who settles the argument with guns. He produces a dull sound with his alto sax, playing pretty long sentences that make sense".
• Philippe Geluck (Cartoonist, Sept.12): “A dazzling musician”.
• Mauro Gargano (bassist, composer, Oct.12): “He is a very open as a musician and as a person. He possesses such a sweetness in the way he plays and hovers over music even when the music is very harsh, rhythmic or hypnotic. He improvises on chords and rhythms in a unbelievable manner”.
• Interviews of Quincy Jones, Ivan Lins, Mark Turner, Avishai Cohen, Kenny Garrett, Toots Thielemans, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Aaron Goldberg,...
• Ambassador for Adolphe Sax 200 Anniversary of birth around the world 2014