Primary Instrument: Trombone
Jazz trombonist Steve Wiest is in great demand as a featured artist, composer/arranger and clinician. Throughout the U.S., he is enjoying success and critical acclaim as he pursues an ambitious performing schedule while continuing to record, compose and arrange. Steve has also appeared in Canada, South America, Australia, Japan, and Europe.
From 1981-1986, Steve was the featured trombonist and one of the arrangers for Maynard Ferguson's Band. While with Maynard, he recorded two CDs: Storm and Live From San Francisco, and one two-volume video: The Playboy Jazz Festival. During this time, Steve and the Maynard Ferguson band also performed with a number of guest artists including: Freddie Hubbard, Slide Hampton, Wynton Marsalis, David Clayton Thomas, Lew Soloff, Billy Eckstein, and Mel Torme. Maynard has recorded three of Steve's arrangements: South 21st Shuffle, Portuguese Love, and most recently I Love You on Ferguson's recent release Brass Attitude. Maynard's current group, Big Bop Nouveau, is performing two arrangements by Steve on the road: Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone, and I'm Old Fashioned.
Following his years with Ferguson, Steve completed a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas. While at UNT, he was the lead trombonist and one of the featured arrangers for the UNT 1:00 Lab Band. His composing, arranging, and trombone playing can be heard on the following UNT CDs: Lab '86, Lab '87, Lab '88, With Respect To Stan, Live From Australia, The Best of The 1:00, and Fifty Years of Jazz at North Texas. Steve also contributed a chart to Lab 89. In 1997 in celebration of the 50th year of the UNT Jazz Studies Program, Steve was a featured soloist with an all-star band of UNT alumni that included: Tom Malone, Ed Soph, Marvin Stamm, Lou Marini, and Jack Peterson.
After a two-year stint as Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at The University of Texas at Arlington, from 1988 to 1990, Steve became Director of Jazz Studies and Trombone at The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. His duties at UW-W include directing the award-winning Jazz Symposium, an Art Blakey-style small group, the Jazz Ensemble, and the trombone studio. Steve also teaches jazz pedagogy courses, jazz improvisation and jazz composition & arranging.
During his tenure at UW-Whitewater, Steve has also been a regular member of the Doc Severinsen Big Band and recorded Swingin' The Blues with Doc on Azika Records in 2000. He continues a regular schedule as an in-demand guest soloist, and clinician at universities, high schools, jazz festivals, and music conferences in the U.S. and abroad.
Steve has a number of arrangements and texts published with various companies including Kendor, Doug Beach, Hal Leonard, and The University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press. He is also very busy as a composer with recent commissions coming from the Illinois chapter of The International Association of Jazz Educators, The University of Northern Colorado, and Maynard Ferguson.