Steve McQuarry has been performing on keyboards and composing for thirty-five years. Coming from a family of pianists, mother a classical and secular pianist, great uncle and aunt pianists/singers and great grandmother a pianist as well. Having starting classical studies at age six, Steve also wrote his first composition for hand bells at the same time. Steve also studied Cello, Vibes, Drums and Trumpet but discontinued Vibes, Drums and Trumpet studies later on. Steve continued study of Cello from age thirteen to sixteen and performing on this instrument with youth orchestras and theater productions during this time.
Steve was enrolled in various classical piano and organ competitions from age six through thirteen. When at the age of fourteen, Steve was first introduced to jazz piano by his teacher's on who was a jazz trumpet player and pianist. This started Steve on a serious jazz studies with several teachers for the next ten years.
By the age of fifteen, Steve had started his own eleven piece band performing R&B, Latin and Jazz and Rock music. In high school, Steve played in the local high school big band and was in a band for awhile with the famous jazz vocalist Diane Reeves, who attended the same high school with Steve. By twelfth grade, Steve was one of the fist students to attend the city's first school of Arts and Technical training. Steve studied Sound Recording and Conducting at the school, conducting wind, orchestra and big band ensembles.
After completing high school, Steve won scholarships to Eastman School of Music to study Composition and Piano and the University of Colorado for Synthesis and Sound Recording.
While attending college, Steve got the opportunity to play with Dizzy Gillespie, Red Rodney, Louie Bellson, Clare Fischer, Emmett Chapman, Tom Scott, John Cage, Morton Subotnik, Laurie Anderson and the Denver Symphony Orchestra. Steve performed and composed for synthesizer orchestras, small/large jazz ensembles, Brazilian and fusion ensembles during this period as well. Steve was an assistant musical director/orchestra member of a theater music ensemble/production that performed "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Grease" and "Guys and Dolls".
Later during this time, Steve joined a Latin-Jazz big band that played concerts with Poncho Sanchez, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria and Eddie Palmeri. This band was also asked to perform at the International Jazz Festival in Manila, Philippines in 1984, the last big band to play there since Duke Ellington doing the seventies. Steve stayed in Asia for a year to study music from Japan, China and Java. Steve returned to the U.S. to compose Jazz vocal music with vocalist Robert Johnson on a recording opportunity with Mercury Records.
In 1985, Steve moved to California to pursue his other interest in the Telecommunications field and lived in San Diego until 1996. While in San Diego, Steve was a member of Afro-Rhumba, an Afro-Cuban and Salsa band. Steve also co-lead a band with Drummer/Vibes player on Patrick Birk, "Akassa", that played original African and Caribbean based jazz. Steve then joined Bill McPherson, Zairian-raised, original African-Jazz based guitarist, on two CD releases during this time. Steve worked with a Ghanese master drummer in his band, "Sankofa", doing African-based Jazz as well. Steve was also a member of "Boracho e Loco", an original tropical rock group, that was featured on NPR in 1990.
During 1992 to 1995, Steve composed original R&B/Jazz music with vocalist Nakato on a EMI/BlueNote recording contract opportunity for new artists.
In 1996, Steve moved to the Bay area to continue to pursue writing for acoustic/electric based jazz composition and write for different types of orchestrated jazz ensembles as well as electronic music and music for films.
Last Updated: February 15, 2001