Steven Katz, a life-long guitarist, represents the last of a class of professional musicians. Born in Pittsburgh, he began playing the guitar at the age of nine, and was performing by age twelve. His early influences were Eric Clapton, B.B. King, and Jimmy Hendrix. Although he was granted early acceptance to both Boston Conservatory and Berkeley School of Music, he chose to instead pursue the path of a career musician. He then moved to New Mexico and played in rock and blues bands throughout the state. In 1990, he formed the band Strictly Taboo, which gained immediate regional popularity with their albums Playing with Fire and Speak No Evil. The band's music was put into rotation on both local and international radio stations, and material was used for the soundtrack of the movie Neptune's Rocking Horse. Rock notables such as Bobby Keys(the Rolling Stones), Jeff Nelson, (Cameo) and Greg Whelchel (Pointer Sisters) regularly joined the band in the studio and on stage. They performed over three hundred nights a year, playing the large club circuit in the western United States and opened for such artists as Delbert McClinton, Steppenwolf, Koko Taylor and Edgar Winter. Strictly Taboo, as an unsigned band, became the #1 band on Armed Services radio during Desert Storm, and went on to win over ten awards from the New Mexico Music Industry Coalition, including two "Best Album of the Year" awards.
In 1997, Steven moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he was influenced by the local Afro-Cuban musical styles. There, he has released four self-produced albums of original compositions. His first solo album, Crucian Serenade, blended local latin/ caribbean themes with nuevo-flamenco spanish guitar. His second release , El Viajero, a fusion of rhumba flamenco, cuban, latin jazz, gypsy, and rock, gained instant popularity throughout the Caribbean. Three tracks from this album were featured on the soundtrack of the movie, Island Fever. His third solo CD, Dance of the Brujas, was released in January, 2008 He has completed a CD of solo classical guitar music entitled “500 Years” and has completed a new CD, “ In The Garden Of Earthly Delights”, released in January of 2010. This new project has strong Middle Eastern influences, both rhythmically and thematically. Songs from all of his CD’s are regularly broadcast throughout the Caribbean.
Since coming to the islands, Steven has played in many notable concerts including the St. Croix Blues and Heritage Festival, Jazz in the Moonlight Series and shows with Jonathon Edwards, the Latin Jazz All Stars, featuring legendary Cuban pianist, Hilario Duran. He also opened for Gato Barbieri, Latin Jazz Grammy winner Nestor Torres, John Cleary, Mavis Staples and Dr. John.
His most recent recent studio session work includes “American Idol”, Deanna Brown’s debut CD “Traveler” and soul/reggae artist, Toussaint’s latest release, “Back Gold”.
Artists performed with:
Bo n Jovi
John Lee Hooker
Jack Mack and the Heart Attack
James Harmon Blues Band
Bobby Keys (Rolling Stones)
The Latin Jazz All Stars
Toussaint the Liberator