Steve Clarke at Strega!
June 25, 2017 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Strega Presents Steve Clarke!
BASSIST/COMPOSER STEVE CLARKE Born and raised in Bridgeport Connecticut, Steve Clarke is from a musically inclined family. His father played the trumpet along side the late greats Eddie and Bobby Buster from New Haven, Connecticut during the 1950's and was president of the Musicians Union. His oldest brother is a jazz saxophonist, and four of his other brothers played brass instruments in school and marching bands.
Clarke began studying music at an early age with lessons on the accordion at around age 10, aspiring to be a drummer. A few years later he began playing the bass guitar after a friend, Timmy Mallory introduced him to a few bass lines and Steve was in love.
After many days and nights of practicing, Steve began playing with local bands at area clubs and later received his first big break after answering a newspaper ad for a bass guitar player. Shortly thereafter, he found himself picking up important experience and playing in the backing bands of the famous R&B groups, The Drifters, The Coasters, Mary Wells, Ben E. King and Sam & Dave.
Clarke studied music at the Housatonic Community College and while there began playing bass for the Sonny Costanzo Big Band which later became the house band at Quinnapiac College. The band featured such guest jazz dignitaries as Randy Brecker, Clark Terry and Jimmy Heath.
Clarke, while still working a full-time job and studing at HCC, he took private bass guitar lessons with Brian Torff,Director of Music at Fairfield University. He studied music theory, jazz improvisation and composition and also took piano lessons with Jay Fredricks at The Westport Jazz Academy.
Shortly after graduating from Housatonic Community College, Steve went on tour in Germany with Laco Deczi's band "Celula New York" and re-toured Europe with them in 1998 right into the present time. They tour every year in the spring and the fall to sold out shows in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, and Austria.
In between touring and playing locally Steve entered and graduated from The Institute of Audio Research in New York, where he studied the business of music and recording and upon graduation formed Q-UP Studios & Music Productions along with an independent record label Hop-N-Bop Records.
In 1999, Steve made his recording debut as a leader with KICKIN' IT, which he self produced and recorded for his newly formed Hop-N-Bop record label. The CD featured Ken Gioffre ( Smokey Robinson, John Patitucci) on saxophone, Jonathan DuBose (Harry Connick Jr, The Hawkins) and Rohn Lawrence (Boney James, Marion Meadows) on guitars as well as other very talented artist.
The CD was well received by both music journalists and critics alike and paved a path for additional producing and arranging assignments with such artists as R&B singer Willie Randall, and Charles Dukes along with Gospel singer Linda Johnson’s debut CD "I Made A Decision" which he wrote all the music for all 3CD’s
Despite his demanding schedule, Clarke found the time to perform with, open for and record with such artist as Sherry Winston, Yellow Jackets, Theresa Wright Quartet, Patxi, Tower of Power, George Baicea, Melvin Sparks, Pieces Of A Dream, Chris Tolfield Band, Walter Duda, Francisco Molina, Phillip Maniatty, Willie Randall, Charles Dukes, TNT Jazz Band, Greg Bernard, Greg James, Off Da Hook, and Laco Deczi’s Celula New York Band.
Presently Steve is still touring with Celula N.Y. which he has performed on 8 CD's … just recorded in Romania with Romanian guitarist George Baicea who’s CD was release in April 2005… performing with the three-time Grammy nominated jazz flautist Sherry Winston … has a tour with Chris Tolfield Band in Bulgaria and Romania for spring of 2005 ... is working with his own band performing and getting ready for a new CD release in Europe for Oct 2005.
In addition to his duties as a professional bass-player for the past 25 years, Clarke continues to lend his expertise as Bass Instructor at Fairfield Guitar Center, Director of jazz band at M.A.C.H. and teaching bass privately.