Steve Heckman

Steve Heckman was born and raised in New York City. He was fortunate to grow up in a time when he was exposed to some of the most innovative jazz periods in jazz history, the mid-1960s. At 12 he began playing clarinet, then he switched to alto and tenor sax. He eventually chose tenor as his favorite instrument. He added alto flute and flute to his repertoire over the years. He has composed 75 original jazz songs. He is a self-taught improviser, but thanks Ray Musiker, Allen Fields and Carmine Caruso who helped him to get the technical and theoretical grounding he needed to make good jazz. When he was 15, John Coltrane’s music was the catalyst that ignited his passion for jazz. He listened to “A Love Supreme” by Trane every day from school to the end. From 11th to 12th grade, he continued to listen to it daily. Bird, Wayne Shorter and Charles Lloyd are also significant influences. Steve has been a part of many jazz greats’ performances, from bebop to avant-garde to traditional. He was 17 when he met and played with Howard McGhee, a veteran bebop trumpeter, and he also performed with Roswell Rudd’s Blues for Planet Earth Orchestra, which featured such jazz greats as Charles Davis and Roland Alexander. Steve was a college student in New York’s upstate. He played with prominents like Slam Stewart and Urbie Green as trombonists. At the University of Illinois, he performed with the Jimmy Dorsey bands, which were led by Lee Castle (and Warren Covington) respectively. He has been a good friend with Bruce Foreman and Cal Collins; guitarists Bruce Foreman and Mimi Fox; pianists Jim McNely, George Cables and Andrew Hill; drummers Eddie Moore and Donald Bailey; and Helcio Melito; trumpeter Tom Harrell; and vocalists Frankye Kelley and Madeline Eastman; and Peter Duchin’s Modernaires. Steve was a member of Eddie Henderson’s quintet, which included Benny Green, a rising pianist; he also had loft sessions with John Abercrombie and Chet Baker. His debut CD, “With John In Mind”, was dedicated to John Coltrane, his mentor. It contains seven of Steve’s original compositions. Steve was interviewed by KJAZ and KCSM radio stations in San Francisco Bay. from

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