Primary Instrument: Composer/conductor
Composer, arranger and saxophonist Steve Williams is the founder and leader of the Jazz Nation Big Band. He formed the group in 2010 as a vehicle for his original compositions and arrangements. Jazz Nation includes 17 of the most unique musicians in the metropolitan Washington, D. C. area. The band includes players such as the phenomenal Luis Hernandez on tenor sax, Mike Pope (bassist with David Sanborn and others) on bass, grammy winner Joe McCarthy on drums and well-known New York guitarist, Pete McCann. The group released its first album August 21, 2012 on OA2 Records. The album features the great Jazz clarinetist Eddie Daniels and is entitled “Steve Williams & Jazz Nation with Eddie Daniels.” During his thirty-five year career as a freelance musician, Steve has appeared on several albums including the Grammy winning “Caribbean Jazz Project/ Afro-Bop Alliance Big Band featuring Dave Samuels.” He has performed with The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, toured with several big bands and was a semi-finalist in the 1988 Hennessey Cognac Jazz Search. Steve has performed with Joe Williams, James Moody, Eddie Daniels, Marvin Stamm, Chris Potter, Bill Watrous, Dick Oatts, Lew Tabackin, Bob Mintzer, Linda Carter, The Temptations, Rita Moreno, Jim Neighbors, Linda Lavin, Hal Linden, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Al Hirt, Boots Randolph, Wayne Newton, Maureen McGovern, The Dallas Jazz Orchestra as well as the Fort Worth, Richmond, and Baltimore Symphonies. Steve has played lead saxophone with the United States Navy Band Commodores in Washington, D. C. since 1997 and was the group’s music director from 2003 to 2009. He has composed/arranged over 50 compositions for the Commodores including arrangements for guest artists Branford Marsalis, Eddie Daniels, Jerry Bergonzi, Jim Snidero, Ralph Bowen and Antonio Hart. Steve has appeared on six albums with the Commodores and produced its recently released CD, “Directions.” A graduate of the University Of North Texas (formally North Texas State University), Steve played lead alto saxophone in the school’s famed One O’ Clock Lab Band. While attending North Texas he studied saxophone with Jim Riggs. He briefly attended Florida State University where he studied saxophone with Patrick Meighan and improvisation with Bill Kennedy. During these collegiate years, Steve led an ensemble that won the 1988 National Collegiate Jazz Competition. In High school he studied music with his father, Dr. Grier M. Williams and saxophone with Dr. Eugene Gonzales. Steve and his wife Marie reside in Springfield, Virginia a suburb of Washington D. C. Steve has three children and four grandchildren.