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avatar for Steve Adams

Steve Adams

CNMAT, UC Berkeley
Composer + Performer on saxophones, flutes and electronics
Berkeley, CA
Steve Adams is active both as a composer and a performer on saxophones, flutes and electronics. Steve is best known as a member of the Rova Saxophone Quartet, with whom he has played for over thirty years and released more than thirty recordings. Rova has been called "one of the most daring ensembles of any instrumentation to emerge in recent years" by Downbeat magazine. He has performed with Anthony Braxton, Sam Rivers, Dave Holland, Roscoe Mitchell, John Zorn, Steve Lacy, Fred Frith, Tin Hat Trio, Yo! Miles with Henry Kaiser and Wadada Leo Smith and Ted Nugent, as well as many other jazz, rock, dance and theater groups. Steve has performed the premieres of numerous classical compositions, including Prisoner of Love by Robert Aldridge for soprano saxophone and piano, Thomas Oboe Lee’s Saxxologie… A Sextet for saxophone sextet and Louie MCMLV for saxophone quartet, and Passing Time by Jon Nelson for tenor saxo­phone and computer-generated tape. He performed Edmund Campion’s Corail for saxophone and computer-generated electronics with the Berkeley Symphony and at the Ojai Music Festival.

Steve has appeared on more than fifty recordings and has eight recordings as leader or co-leader on the 9 Winds, Clean Feed and pfMENTUM labels. His most recent recording is The Philosophy of Air, a duo with Vinny Golia on pfMENTUM. His piece Cage (for John Cage) was performed at the 1993 Bang on a Can festival, and his piece The Gene Pool was commissioned in 1993 by Meet the Composer and performed at their festival “The Works” in Minneapolis in 2002. He received a California Arts Council Fellowship in 2000. Steve is a graduate of the School of Contemporary Music in Brookline, MA and studied composition with Alan Crossman, Christopher Yavelov and Thomas Oboe Lee, saxophone with David Birkin and Indian music with Peter Row and Steve Gorn.
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