It would be a headline tailormade for 60 Minutes or Nightline: Talented Jazz Saxophonist Has Rare Kidney Disease. This story has been Dayna Stephens' reality for 15 years, and it has earned him an outpouring of love from thousands of musicians and fans alike. This illnesss, however, unfairly shifts the focus away from another compelling story, one that heralds Stephens as one of the best jazz musicians on the planet. Only 20 out of every million people develop focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, but there are even fewer who rise to Stephens' level of excellence. Yes, he needs a new kidney, but for now let's celebrate his new band and new album, That Nepenthetic Pace, which features iconic trumpet player Ambrose Akinmusire and keyboardist Taylor Eigsti, whose pianistic pyrotechnics complement the creative fires that radiate from Stephens' soul.

Wed., Aug. 14, 9 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 15, 9 p.m., 2013

LA Weekly