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Steve Newcomb : Associate Artist

Photo of Steve Newcomb

Photo: Mia Forrest

Steve Newcomb is an Australian pianist equally in demand for his unique touch on the piano and detailed composing and arranging style that explores a realm shared by jazz and new music. He maintains an active solo career while sharing the stage with a multitude of artists of various styles and genres, making "music in a knotty zone where Thelonious Monk meets classical music" (Sydney Morning Herald). He has appeared in concert around the world, performing everywhere from Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House to Berlin's A-Train and the Wangaratta Jazz Festival. Steve has collaborated in Australia and America with leading jazz artists including Jim Pugh, Will Vinson, Kristin Berardi, Chris McNulty, Rafael Karlen, James Sherlock, Kavita Shah, Clocked Out Duo, among many others.

Steve receives commissions from a range of performers and organisations. He has written for a wide array of musical artists, from Ben Folds, Augie March, and The Panics in the pop world, to the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras in the classical world. Steve takes special interest in combining the forces of classical chamber and orchestral instrumentation with traditional jazz trio and big band ensembles. Past commissions have included compositions for jazz philharmonic and Stefon Harris at the Manhattan School of Music; brass, choir, and big band at the Queensland Music Festival; and a toy piano concerto for the Perth International Arts Festival. He leads his own ensemble, the Steve Newcomb Orchestra, a chamber jazz project realising original works jazz trio with strings, winds, harp, and voice. The debut album "Caterpillar Chronicles" was released in 2013.

As an arranger, Steve has worked with countless artists and organisations and is sought after for his exploratory and "lavish" style (Sydney Morning Herald). Steve has collaborated frequently with Australian vocalist Katie Noonan as arranger and composer, including on the ARIA award-winning album First Seed Ripening (2011), the acclaimed circus cabaret LOVE SONG CIRCUS (2012), the albums Transmutant (2015), and With Love and Fury featuring the highly regarded Brodsky Quartet (2016). His collaboration with vocalist Chris McNulty on the album ETERNAL (2015) earned critical acclaim including a 4.5 star Downbeat magazine review. He has arranged works for large ensembles including the Metropole Orkest, Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra with Jeff Neve, and the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra.

Based in Brisbane, Steve is Senior Lecturer and Head of Jazz at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. He has taught in clinics and workshops around the world and enjoys being active in community music programs, mentoring up-and-coming musicians. Steve completed both his Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees at the Manhattan School of Music as a student of Kenny Barron, Garry Dial, Dave Liebman, Phil Markowitz, Mike Abene, Manny Albam and Jim McNeely.

Steve Newcomb — current to January 2022

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Suspended belief : chamber ensemble (2017) Commissioned by Ensemble Trivium for Locally Sourced