Born: May 20, 1988 Primary Instrument: Reeds
A Bay Area transplant to the NYC scene, multi-reedist Steven Lugerner maintains an active bi-costal performance schedule - as both a leader and sidemen. Since his relocation to New York City, Lugerner has fostered contacts, study and collaboration with such artists as: Grammy nominated pianist Fred Hersch; soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom; flutist/composer Jamie Baum; trumpeter Ralph Alessi; pianist Myra Melford; percussionist Matt Wilson; percussionist/composer John Hollenbeck, bassist John Hebert, pianist Jason Moran, trumpeter Darren Johnston; saxophonist Dayna Stephens & SFJAZZ Collective member Miguel Zenon. He is a skilled and diversified woodwind doubler on saxophone, bass clarinet, Bb clarinet, oboe, english horn, flute and alto flute. As a sideman & leader, Lugerner has had the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall, The SFJAZZ Festival, Dizzy’s Coca-Cola Club, Smalls Jazz Club, Cornelia St. Cafe, Le Poisson Rouge, The Red Poppy Art House, The Jazzschool and Yoshi’s Oakland.
Steven Lugerner was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area in a multicultural, artistically nurturing family. He began his early musical studies attempting to play the trumpet - a painful experience for both student and family audience. Thankfully, he followed the suggestion of his music teacher and switched to lessons on the clarinet. He soon discovered his niche in the world of woodwind instruments. His elementary school music studies coupled with involvement in youth orchestra allowed him to refine his studies on the clarinet and additionally inspired his interest and concentration to the oboe, an instrument no fifth grader dared to take up. During his middle school and high school years, Lugerner performed on both the clarinet and oboe in school and college-level bands, as well as professional pit orchestras. It was in mid-high school that he began a dedicated study of saxophone and the exploration of jazz and improvised music. This was a natural reconnection to the sounds of his childhood years characterized by the household music of Paul Desmond, Stan Getz, Milt Jackson and Steely Dan.
“Multi-Reedist Steven Lugerner leads his septet featured on one half of his recent double-CD release (the half titled Narratives, to be exact), showing off his songful, cinematic midsize-ensemble works.” - Time Out New York on Narratives
“Two discs, two different bands playing two different sets of compositions, and hardly a note is wasted. It’s a sickening display of overachievement, bolstered by the assistance of pianist Myra Melford, guitarist Angelo Spangolo, trumpeter Darren Johnston, drummers Michael Davis and Matt Wilson… and the list goes on. Musically, it can be too elegiac and impressionistic to be considered jazz. But other times it feels too free and dissonant to be considered classical or chamber. Like all great music, it’s the kind that unintentionally blurs genres.” - John Garratt (PopMatters.com) on Narratives & These Are The Words
“This (These Are The Words) is an impressive undertaking. Throughout the program, Lugerner’s music illustrates the complex object that is man and his burgeoning and sometimes difficult relationship to and with the Lord. One hears echoes of Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky and Leonard Bernstein as well as Marty Ehrlich and Fred Hersch - there are moments of noise, of chaos, but also times of sheer beauty. On repeated listenings, one hears in better detail the interplay of the 4 musicians; the shapes within the music soon make more sense and one realizes that this is a meditation of the themes of belief, creativity, devotion and commitment.” - Richard B. Kamins (Step Tempest) on These Are The Words
“Like the first CD in the package, “Narratives” offers much to the discerning listener, especially if one is patient. Don’t look for obvious influences; instead, listen for the interplay, for the original melodies, impressive arrangements, and the honest attempt to embrace many styles without settling on one. I imagine these works open up a bit more in concert yet do not seem underdone on record.” - Richard B. Kamins (Step Tempest) on Narratives
“Steven Lugerner is a prototype of the young 21st century jazz musician. Equally gifted as performer, composer and interpreter, he is sure to make a mark on the jazz scene in the years ahead. - Fred Hersch (Grammy Nominated Pianist)
“Steven Lugerner is the real article. A polished and sophisticated young composer-arranger, he is also a fine alto and soprano saxophonist. He’s assembled a terrific septet of kindred improvisers who play his modal-modern works with devotion and finesse” - Kirk Nurock (Composer, Pianist, Conductor and Educator)
“Steven Lugerner writes and plays with maturity, creativity and taste well beyond his years with plenty of fire and chops to support his ideas.” - Jamie Baum (Composer/Flutist)
Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.