Steve’s parents recognized his gift for music when he was only three years old. They felt confident that he should follow a musical path in his formative years, so they sought out the best piano teacher locally, in Dayton, Ohio. He studied everything from classical to baroque to contemporary styles under the watchful eye of Audley Wasson. His years of study continued through out high school, when at the end, Steve performed a senior recital.
It was during his younger years that Steve met his future brother-in-law, who introduced him to the music of Chicago, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. Steve knew then that music would be his life.
After high school, Steve was awarded a full scholarship to The College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was introduced to the world of improvisation by trumpeter and university professor Pat Harbison. According to Steve, “One day he gave me two pieces of paper that contained extremely valuable information: scales and the chords that relate to them. For the years to come, I spent night and day playing and exploring these scales with the related chords in every possible way, in every possible key signature, in every song I learned.”
While in school, Steve began to get noticed on the local jazz scene. This was the beginning of a professional career that spanned practically everything musically imaginable.
In this midst of these various musical experiences, Steve knew it was time to take the next step and make a move to a place where live music was more in demand. When he arrived in Los Angeles, he landed a teaching job at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood. He began playing with local greats and soon found himself in the midst of a jazz/Latin/funk trio with Marco Mendoza on bass and vocals and Joey Heredia on drums. Steve credits his work with this trio for his good fortune. It was at that time he met many established musicians and was noticed for his talents. Among those he met, Steve was introduced to drummer Dave Weckl. He spent a few years touring the world with the band, writing and co-writing songs for numerous Dave Weckl Band CDs (‘Transition’, ‘Perpetual Motion’, ‘Live and Very Plugged In’, and ‘Multiplicity’).