|Steve Oliver (USA) - guitar |
Guitarist and vocalist Steve Oliver, often likened to a hybrid of George Benson and Bobby McFerrin, revels in sharing the joy of what he does best, celebrating life and music. Growing up in Walnut Creek, his love for so many different styles and worship of every guitarist from Santana to Pat Metheny made every path an early possibility. During highschool he played in bands with different styles from rock, classical to even a little jazz. Steve had to go through a lot of phases to discover his true voice. His debut album, First View (1999), was nominated for an AFIM (Association for Independent Music) Award and earned him the distinction of "Debut Artist of the Year" from the national publication Smooth Jazz News. His 2002 album, Positive Energy, all on an indie label, was nominated by the National Smooth Jazz Awards for Best New Artist and Best Guitar Player for 2003. While he's toured and performed with Chris Botti, Rippingtons, Michael Franks, Kyle Eastwood, Fourplay, it was Steve's high profile role in Steve Reid's band that finally gave him the opportunity to emerge as a budding instrumental star. More than simply the lead guitarist, he became a true partner of Reid's shortly after joining the band in 1996, writing nine songs on the Mysteries album and three on Bamboo Forest's new Passion In Paradise.