Steven has been a music maker since early childhood, and began formal study of piano at age 11. At 12 he began playing the Horn, and from 8th-12th grade he held the 2nd Horn chair in the Huntington College wind ensemble, brass ensemble, and orchestra. During this time Steven won the high school division of the first Huntington College Concerto Competition and performed as a soloist with the orchestra. He also performed with The Manchester Civic Orchestra, the Muncie Symphony, and the Fort Wayne Youth Symphony before graduating from high school in 2003.
In his youth, Steven was also engaged in a very different kind of music making as a member of the band Euphonious Funk. The group was modeled after the band Phish, and the the four members explored collaborative song-writing and improvisation on a variety of instruments.
Under the influence of Wes Montgomery and the Wynton Kelly Trio, the same group became The Joseph Lisinicchia Quartet and provided Steven with his first experiences as a gigging, straight-ahead jazz pianist.
During college, Steven spent a year studying jazz piano with Luke Gillespie at the Indiana University School of Music. Later on, he and his long-time collaborative partner Joe Lisinicchia were mentored by bassist Max Hartstein (1929-2011), pianist Claude Sifferlen (1940-2010), and guitarist Darrell Croy. These older musicians helped connect them with the deep roots of Indiana jazz. Continuing this legacy, Steven and Joe have performed as the Indiana Jazz Preserve, featuring music by Indiana composers such as Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter, and Wes Montgomery along with their original compositions.
Steven and Joe have been playing as a piano/guitar duo, and with drummer Aaron Kiser (as the Slumping Polymers Division) for 10 years. Along with Paco Michelson, they also formed an avant-garde improvisation community, The Beautiful Berish Wereish, in 2005.
Steven has also performed with the Huntington University Faculty Chamber Trio (on piano, harpsichord, and horn) and as a freelance musician in Tucson, AZ and the SF Bay area. He has performed with guitarist Randy Vincent and in a trio with Oscar Westesson, bass and Cairo McCockran, drums.
Steven currently seeking musical collaborators to explore the spaces between genres. He is also available for work as a solo pianist and hornist in the Lawrence/KC area and beyond.
To collaborate or to request Steven’s services as an instrumentalist, click here.
Listen to albums of Steven’s original music by visiting stevenbergdall.bandcamp.com!