07/11/11

Bay Area Benefit Raises Funds for Saxophonist Dayna Stephens

Proceeds to Aid Musician in Fight Against Rare Kidney Disease

The Dayna Stephens Health Benefit Concert, held on July 4 at Yoshi’s Jazz Club in San Francisco, raised almost $7,000 to support saxophonist Stephens. The money will aid the musician in his battle against Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a rare kidney disease.

Stephens, a graduate of Berklee College of Music, is widely regarded as one of the most exciting young tenor saxophonists on the scene today. He has performed alongside many esteemed artists in recent years, including Roy Hargrove, Gretchen Parlato, Tom Harrell and Kenny Barron, in addition to leading his own group.

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Dayna Stephens

The concert, produced by Urban Music Presents, featured more than 20 of the Bay Area’s most prominent musicians, with appearances from the John Santos Sextet, Marcus Shelby, vocalist Kenny Washington and the Dayna Stephens Group.

Stephanie Dalton, director of Urban Music Presents, described the event as a “magical night for music” and was moved by the show of support from Bay Area musicians.

“They were all extraordinary performances,” Dalton reported, “just a truly special night.”

Stephens, 33, is currently awaiting a kidney transplant. Dalton anticipates that the necessary anti-rejection medications will cost “over $4,000 a month with Medicare only covering a portion.”

Including online donations, Dalton has raised enough money to fund two months of Stephens’ medications but will continue fundraising.

“It is my goal to raise enough money to support the medications for a year,” says Dalton.

She looks to hold a similar event for Stephens in New York City in the fall.

Online donations can be made at Help Dayna Stephens.

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