Primary Instrument: Sax, alto
Named a Rising Star on the alto saxophone in 2006 and 2007 by the Downbeat Magazine International Critics Poll, STEVE LEHMAN is a saxophonist and composer whose work resides on the cutting-edge of contemporary music. He has been recognized as one of today's truly original creative voices by The Wire, The New York Times, The Village Voice, and Downbeat Magazine, as well as by National Public Radio. A former student of both Jackie McLean and Anthony Braxton, he has performed and recorded throughout the United States and Europe with his own ensembles, and with those led by Anthony Braxton, Dave Burrell, Mark Dresser, Vijay Iyer, Oliver Lake, and Meshell Ndegeocello.
An award-winning composer, Lehman's pieces for large orchestra and chamber ensembles have been performed by the Janacek Philharmonic, members of Ensemble 21 and Ensemble Sospeso, and by the pianist Marilyn Nonken. His music has received performances at the MusikTriennale Festival in Koln, the Ostrava New Music Days, The Kaleidophon Festival in Ulrichsberg, the Festival International de Musique Actuelle in Victoriaville, Dance Theater Workshop and the Interpretations Series at Merkin Hall, both in New York City.
As a Fulbright scholar in France during the 2002-2003 academic year, Lehman was invited to teach a weekly undergraduate course on current trends in improvised music at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. His recent article in the academic journal Critical Studies in Improvisation, I Love You with an Asterisk: African-American Experimental Music and the French Jazz Press, 1970-1980 is based on his Fulbright Research. Since the Fall of 2006, Lehman has been a doctoral candidate in Music Composition at Columbia University where he is a departmental fellow. He has taught undergraduate courses and lectured at Wesleyan University, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, The New School, and The School for Improvisational Music.
Lehman's most recent recordings as a leader include Demian as Posthuman (Pi 2005), featuring Tyshawn Sorey and 9-time Grammy nominee Meshell Ndegeocello, Simulated Progress (Pi 2005) with the collective trio Fieldwork, Interface (Clean Feed 2004), featuring Mark Dresser and Pheeroan akLaff, and Artificial Light (Fresh Sound 2004) with his critically acclaimed quintet.