ADEGOKE STEVE COLSON, pianist and composer, has performed internationally as a leader of jazz ensembles ranging from trios to orchestras. Born in Newark and raised in East Orange, NJ, he received his degree from Northwestern University School of Music and lived in Chicago for a decade before returning to the East Coast where he now resides. November 13, 1989 was proclaimed Adegoke Steve Colson Day by the City of Newark in honor of the premiere of his multi-media work, Greens, Rice, and a Rope, at Newark Symphony Hall during the national celebration of New Music America.
A critically acclaimed figure in modern jazz, Steve’s compositions are finding their way into the “jazz standard” repertoire and are being performed and recorded by some of today’s jazz greats as well as by his own group. He became a member of The Association for Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in the early 70s, a musicians’ collective that has influenced music internationally in the 20th and 21st Century. Steve’s music has been compared to that of Monk, Mingus, and Ellington as well as Ives, Berio, and Stravinsky. He has received several commissions and awards for composition from organizations with interests in the arts, and has traveled throughout the world performing with many talented artists. Those with whom he has worked or featured in his presentations include Muhal Richard Abrams, Pheeroan AkLaff, Ed Blackwell, John Blake, Hamiet Bluiett, T.K. Blue, Andrew Cyrille, Baikida Carroll, Anthony Davis, Richard Davis, Kahil El’ Zabar, Douglas Ewart, Rachelle Farrell, Malachi Favors, Joe Ford, Rafael Donald Garrett, Benny Golson, Michael Gregory, Craig Harris, Fred Hopkins, Joseph Jarman, Leroy Jenkins, Oliver Lake, George Lewis, Branford Marsalis, Steve McCall, Andy McCloud, Makanda Ken McIntyre, Rene McLean, T.S. Monk, Butch Morris, Dushun Mosley, David Murray, Hannibal Peterson, Rufus Reid, Max Roach, Marlena Shaw, Dakota Staton, Henry Threadgill, Steve Turre, Chris White, Ed Wilkerson, Reggie Workman, Rev. Frank Wright, and many other gifted artists. He regularly appeared with the Spirit of Life Ensemble, and Amiri and Amina Baraka’s Blue Ark.