Born: July 17, 1981 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Jazz Review calls Seattle-based saxophonist and composer Steve Treseler “a bona fide big player in the arena of straight-ahead jazz who provides just enough other ingredients to keep it all fascinating and fresh.” Treseler’s music draws from the traditions of classic and contemporary jazz, impressionism, minimalism, and indie rock.
In addition to leading his own band, Treseler is a regular member of the Jim Knapp Orchestra, Wayne Horvitz’s Washington Composers Orchestra (WACO), and the Tom Varner Nonet. He has performed with jazz greats Kenny Wheeler, Bill Frisell, Bob Brookmeyer, Dave Douglas, George Russell, George Garzone, Ingrid Jensen, John Medeski, Pete Christlieb, Darcy James Argue, Terri Lyne Carrington, Donny McCaslin, and Kobie Watkins.
Growing up in Edmonds, WA, Steve began playing the clarinet in school band at age ten and picked up tenor saxophone in middle school. He got serious about playing jazz in high school, and he immersed himself in the classic recordings of Lester Young, Clifford Brown, John Coltrane, and Thelonious Monk. He began to compose original music and joined a youth New Orleans jazz band that performed in festivals up and down the west coast.
Steve continued his education on scholarship at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where he studied with jazz legends Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Brookmeyer, George Garzone and Steve Lacy. He graduated with distinction in performance and was named “Outstanding Soloist” in the college division by DownBeat magazine.
In 2003 Steve returned to Seattle to perform, teach, and work on new projects. His debut album Resonance (2008) received critical acclaim and international radio airplay, and his 2013 release Center Song features renowned trumpeter Ingrid Jensen.
Steve is an in-demand educator in Seattle. He has a large studio of private students, and he presents workshops on jazz and improvisation throughout the Pacific Northwest. Treseler’s new textbook The Living Jazz Tradition: A Creative Guide to Improvisation and Harmony has been used in classes at Berklee, University of Idaho, and Central Washington University. Steve is currently working toward a master’s degree in jazz studies at the University of Washington as Cuong Vu’s teaching assistant.
Awards:Outstanding Soloist in College Division, DownBeat Magazine 2003 Tenor Saxophone Soloist Winner in High School Division, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, 1999 1st Place, WMEA State Solo Competition, Tenor Saxophone, 1999
Steve Treseler is a nuanced, controlled, and compelling saxophonist. -Earshot Jazz
His tenor playing is assured, big-toned, and creative. -Jazz Now! Seattle