Saxophonist Dayna Stephens‘ records as a leader receive high praise from everyone who hears them and, as a sideman, he is always in demand. He has six albums out under his name. The latest, Peace, was released late last year and features Brad Mehldau, Julian Lage, Larry Grenadier, and Eric Harland. He has appeared on more than 20 albums as a sideman, including albums by Gretchen Parlato, Gerald Clayton, Linda Oh and Taylor Eigsti. What might be most impressive, though, is how much he is loved and appreciated by his many contemporaries who hold him in high regard not only as a saxophonist and composer, but also as a dear friend.

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Stephens was diagnosed with a kidney disease called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS).  This very rare disease affects only 20 out of every 1,000,000 people and leaves him in need of a kidney transplant. Stephens supports himself as a freelance musician and teacher but FSGS makes touring and out of town gigging very difficult. That makes his costly medical bills difficult to cover– let alone a kidney transplant.

Several benefit concerts have been held to help him with these expenses while he waited for a transplant. Unfortunately, in January 2015, Stephens was moved from number 19 to number 40 on the transplant list, effectively increasing his wait from months to years. In response to this, a new crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help with medical expenses and raise awareness.

To find out more, check out the campaign here or go to helpdaynastephens.org

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