Born in Toronto, Canada on June 4, 1971, Grant Stewart was exposed to the music of Charlie Parker, Wardell Gray and Coleman Hawkins by his father, a high school English teacher and semiprofessional guitarist. Father and son often played together for hours on end. It was through these early experiences and his father’s encouragement that Stewart first developed a strong ear for melody, style, and improvisation. He began with the alto saxophone at age 10, and when he was 14 his first teacher, noted Toronto bandleader Pete Schofield, invited him to play professionally in Schofield’s Big Band. At 17 he switched to the tenor saxophone and was soon playing with such master saxophonists as Pat Labarbara and Bob Mover. Stewart considers Mover to be one of his greatest teachers and among his strongest influences along with Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Don Byas, and Lester Young.
Since moving to New York City at the age of 19, Stewart has studied with such masters as Donald Byrd, Barry Harris, and Joe Lovano, and performed with Curtis Fuller, John Hendricks, Clark Terry, Etta Jones, Bill Charlap, Frank Gant, Dan Barret, Bob Mover, Brad Mehldau, Russell Malone, Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein, Jimmy Cobb, Harry Connick, Mickey Roker, Arthur Harper, Jimmy Lovelace, Cecil Payne, Dick Hyman, Herb Geller and was a member of the last Al Grey Sextet. Stewart can be found playing at such clubs in NY as Birdland, Smoke, The Ketano, The Jazz Standard, Fat Cat and can be heard every Tuesday night at Smalls Jazz Club. Stewart has performed all over North America and Europe as well as in Japan, Brazil and Taiwan. He was also one of the first jazz artists to be invited to play at the historical Hermitage Museum in St. Petersberg, Russia. In addition Grant was a featured artist at the Guggenheim Museums’ Jazz series with his trio including drum legend Jimmy Cobb.
Stewart has twelve recordings as a leader on various labels, two as a co-leader with fellow Stewart Plays the Music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn on Sharp Nine Records (USA) has received worldwide critical acclaim. Keep an eye out for Stewart’s upcoming release in September of 2010 on Sharp Nine Records.