Steve Cole is one of the most celebrated players in contemporary jazz, having sold hundreds of thousands of albums worldwide and scored four #1 R&R Smooth Jazz hits. He attended Northwestern University, where he explored modern classical music for the saxophone under the tutelage of internationally recognized educator Fred Hemke. While in undergraduate school, this gifted musician was a semi-finalist in the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts and one of three finalists in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and was awarded the privilege of performing Tableaux De Provence by Paule Maurice with the CSO. Cole went on to earn his MBA which paved the way in his being appointed to Professor at the University of St. Thomas – a position which he maintains today.
Cole began his professional career, playing sessions and club dates wherever possible; he recorded with blues legend Junior Wells and began playing, writing and producing with Atlantic Records artists Brian Culbertson. His visibility at the label grew, and soon Cole signed his own deal with Atlantic. He released his debut disc, “Stay Awhile”, in 1998; it yielded the hits “Where the Night Begins,” “When I Think of You” and “Say It Again” and earned Cole a Prism Award for Best New Artist at the 2000 Oasis Smooth Jazz Awards.
Steve has toured and/or recorded with Boz Scaggs, Larry Carlton, Jeff Lorber, Brian Culbertson, Freddie Cole, Cyrus Chestnut, KMFDM, Rick Braun, Dave Koz, Peter White, Marc Antoine and is a founding member, along with Jeff Kashiwa and Kim Waters, of The Sax Pack. Steve has six CDs in his catalog and has just finished his 7th solo album. This project will be released in late August 2013, and goes back to his Funk, R&B, Blues, and Jazz roots.
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