Guitarist, composer, educator Steven Kirby has built a reputation for performing exciting, melodic, lyrical and expressive mainstream and contemporary jazz as well as being active as performer in other contemporary styles. He has appeared on over 25 released recordings (including three as a leader “Point Of Balance” , “North Light” both on Challenge Records and in 2016, "Illuminations" on WCS. He has performed and/or recorded with many of today’s most respected contemporary musicians including Chris Potter, George Garzone, Mike Manieri (Steps Ahead), Scott Colley, Bruce Barth, Joe Lovano, Javon Jackson, Harvie Swartz, Joe Hunt, Steve Hunt, George Schuller, Allan Holdsworth, Matt Malley (of Counting Crows) and others. He has toured in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Caribbean, Europe, China and Africa.
Kirby’s music has been played on over 100 radio stations in the US and internationally including features on NPR’s “Here and Now”, “Jazz with Bob Parlocha” and “Eric in the Evening”.
Kirby's jazz compositions have won awards in the International Songwriting Competition, the Billboard Song Contest and Downbeat. He is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and has a masters degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging from U Mass (Amherst). He is currently on the music faculty at 4 institutions of higher education: Berklee College of Music (Associate Professor, Harmony Dept), Salem State University, Brandeis University, Wellesley College
“ music of deep beauty and, at times, spare, folkloric elegance but also an album that doesn't lose sight of Kirby's jazz roots and his penchant for more incendiary playing”
"Kirby expands his palette with a larger group who collectively lift these deep yet eminently accessible compositions off the page to leap out of the speakers."
"Illuminations represents Kirby's biggest leap forward yet -specifically as a writer but, equally, as a guitarist who leans towards inimitable lyricism yet also possesses the chops to burn brightly as the music demands it”
John Kelman (All About Jazz)
“Kirby plays and writes from inside the music, putting melody and feeling first.” – Bob Blumenthal(Boston Globe)
“ Meticulously played, elegantly produced post-bop jazz….Kirby has a serious command of the guitar” (New England Performer)
“ Kirby has an intense, darkly melodic sound that’s very much his own” (All About Jazz)
“ …beaucoup chops…creative music….beautiful and always well played…personal expression that transcends mere imitation” –Jim Ferguson (Jazz Times)
“A very talented musician and composer, lyrically inspired and very adept....a must to listen to!— Steve Charbonneu (WICN Radio)
“Kirby doesn’t just play the notes, he plays the sound ”.—Louis-Victor Mialy (Jazz Hot Magazine)
“Compositional depth and brilliant playing” –David Miles (Worcester Magazine)
“One hopes the country’s late night jazz radio hosts discover (Kirby’s CD “Point of Balance”)….though it’s sole color is not only mid-night blue, ….there is a high, lonesome sound attending much of these proceedings....Kirby’s solos unfold with a naturalness unusual on any instrument, but especially guitar.” –James Issacs (Downbeat & MSN Sidewalk Boston)
Photographer: Marv Goldschmitt
Musician: Steven Kirby
Venue: The Beehive, Boston