Born December 17, 1955 in Worcester, Massachusetts. It was a long time ago, I was about ten years old when a guitar came to my house, and we became real good friends. The music of the time filled the air with legends and rockers, Louis Armstrong to The Beatles, and everything in between.

I played a lot. Practicing chords and trying to solo like the rockers I heard on the radio and records, and diggin’ the sounds of great jazz guitarists like Herb Ellis. Around 1970 I heard The Mahavishnu Orchestra, and realized the intricacies of jazz merged with the emotion of rock. It was like nothing I’d had ever heard before.

In 1973 I entered the army. I continued to practice everyday and read theory books and began applying that onto the guitar. I jammed as much as I could with other enlisted men and learned a lot from groovin’ with all their different styles from all over the different parts of the country. My buddies in green showing me how to play Delta Blues, the way they played in Philly, and country western music as well.

After three years in the army I used my GI benefits and entered Berklee College of Music in 1977. I took full advantage of their jazz program, studying everything from composition and arranging, conducting, involvement in their ensemble program, and a wealth of numerous music subjects. After receiving a Bachelors degree in Jazz, I entered The New England Conservatory of Music and received a Masters degree also in Jazz, and was privileged to study and become friends with George Russell, the great theorist/composer and author of “The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization”. Up until the time I received my Masters degree, I played regularly in my own commercial band doing functions and clubs as well as free lancing and regular jam sessions. In 1988 I moved to New Jersey to get involved in the New York scene.

I set out to meet and play with as many musicians as I could, and put together my own trio of guitar, bass and drums playing a hard-edged electric jazz. We played mostly original compositions, playing gigs throughout the New York/New Jersey area. Through my bass player, Ray Paez, who was a recording engineer in a New York City recoding studio, I spent countless days in the studio working on projects with Ray and other musicians, playing that same hard-edged style. Often arriving at the studio around nine or ten in the morning, we’d work around the clock until midnight. Even going back the next day to do it all again if the studio was available. Around 1995, when my band disbanded, I began playing regularly in other people’s bands. Playing steady weekly hard-edged jazz gigs in Patterson and Jersey City, New Jersey. The music was intense and the clubs were smoky. From working with my band doing my material, to playing with others doing jazz standards in a non-standard way, to the studio sessions and all the jamming in between, I stayed as busy as possible firing it up and cranking it out with a host of great musicians. In 1997 I moved from New Jersey to Massachusetts. I kept working in New Jersey, driving weekly between the two states. On one of my trips in 2003, while jamming with bass player Todd Urban, he suggested that I go into the studio and record a CD of my material. He introduced me to drummer John O’Brien who agreed to be part of the project, made connections with Jayson Dezuzio and his Stained Glass Recording studio and my CD “That’s What I’m Saying” was produced.

In 2005 I decided to devote this next decade of my life to compassion and generosity, volunteering and using my musical skills to benefit others, both with my playing and instruction. While I had volunteered for worth while causes in the past, now it would be an ongoing effort for the next ten years. I started by offering my services to local out reach organizations. I played at HIV dinners, a program ensuring meals for people with HIV. Holiday meals, charity events and out reach programs for local homeless shelters and soup kitchens. Over the years I’ve used a number of my students for these events, some of whom would go on to play for charitable events on their own. I set up a program for Veterans at the Providence VA for free weekly guitar instruction under the Occupational Therapy Department as music therapy, with free guitars if needed acquired with private donations. The full story of the VA program can be read on the articles page, titled “Giving Back”. With private donations of guitars, I set up a program for free weekly guitar instruction for children of homeless families. I located the program at the local Boys and Girls Club, which I offered to their members as well. I used some of my advanced students as the instructors for the program.

In 2014 I released my second cd, “C’mon Now, Listen Up”. Jazz standards done in an unstandard way. My long time friend and bass player Todd Urban, and drummer Don Guinta make up the band.

(C) Steve Young