Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community


Steve Adams

Saxophonist, composer, Rova member, band leader
Steve Adams ( b. 1952 ) composes and plays sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones as well as flute, alto flute, bass flute, clarinet, bass clarinet and synthesizer. Steve is a graduate of the School of Contemporary Music in Boston, and has studied composition with Thomas Oboe Lee, Christopher Yavelov and Alan Crossman; saxophone and flute with David Birkin; and Indian music with Peter Row and Steve Gorn. He has taught at North Shore Community College, Governor Dummer Academy and the School of Contemporary Music.

Currently based in San Francisco, Steve is a member of the Rova Saxophone Quartet, an innovative ensemble that has been called "one of the most daring ensembles of any instrumentation to emerge in recent years" by Downbeat magazine. Rova has toured widely in the U.S., Canada, and Eastern and Western Europe and has recordings on the Black Saint, Hat Art, Sound Aspects and Metalanguage labels. He is a former member of Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet, an eclectic jazz group that has toured Europe and recorded on the Coppens CCD label, Composers in Red Sneakers, a classically-oriented composer's consortium, and Birdsongs of the Mesozoic, a "punk classical" rock group with recordings on Rykodisc, Ace of Hearts and Cuneiform Records. Steve is on more than 35 recordings, including seven with the Rova Saxophone Quartet, four with Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet and three as a co-leader for the 9Winds label. He has performed with Anthony Braxton, Sam Rivers, Dave Holland, John Zorn, Cecil Taylor, Donald Byrd, Jaki Byard and Ted Nugent and with many other jazz, rock, classical, dance and theater groups.

Steve received a Reader's Digest/Meet the Composer grant in 1993 and was a finalist in the 1983 Massachusetts "You Gotta Have Arts" grant competition. He has written many compositions and arrangements in various genres,including fifteen currently on record. His works in the classical vein include Owed t'Don for marimba and violin, commissioned by Marimolin and recorded for the GM label, Watching for a Story for alto saxophone and tape, Squinch for brass quintet, commissioned by the Empire Brass Quintet, and K/24 (for Vasily Kandinsky) for saxophone quartet. He has also written music for dance pieces and animated films. Steve wrote the music for the Berkeley Shakespeare Festival's 1990 production of Twelfth Night, for the California Shakespeare Festival's 1991 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, their 1993 production of Hamlet, their 1994 production of The Taming of the Shrew, and their 1995 production of Much Ado About Nothing.
Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, September 17 2014 8:00 PM
Berkeley Arts [2133 University Avenue Berkeley]
Tim Perkis solo - Steve Adams / shinichi iova-koga / john hanes 3

8 pm
Tim Perkis solo - live electronics

9 pm
Steve Adams - electronics
John Hanes - electronics
Shinichi Iova-Koga - movement  More...
Sunday, September 21 2014 12:00 PM
San Francisco Conservatory of Music - Osher Salon [50 Oak Street San Francisco]
The Center for New Music offers a special "Field Report" as part of SFMusic Day, an annual marathon featuring approximately 40 different Bay Area music groups across genres. The set takes place at the SF Conservatory of Music, offering a pop-up showcase of highlights from the Center's first 1.5 years as the new music hub of SF. The Field Report program features Rova Saxophone Quartet, Dohee Lee, Karl Evangelista's Taglish, Bob Marsh, Mobius Trio, Common Ground with Luis Escareño and Anne Rainwater, a performance + installation by Chris Kallmyer, and a special video presentation.  More...
Friday, September 26 2014 9:45 PM
Studio Grand [3234 Grand Ave, Oakland]
Jazz Guitar Improvisations w/ Nahum Zdybel Trio + Ross Hammond with Steve Adams  More...
Sunday, October 5 2014 7:30 PM
SIMM Series @ The Musicians Union Hall [116 9th St @ Mission SF]
The Deconstruction Orchestra
A power house big band of immense proportions!
Josh Allen - conductor/composer/tenor saxophone
Jason Hoopes bass. Kurt Ribak bass. Mark Miller drums. Timothy Orr drums. Roger Reidlbaur guitar. John Finkbeiner guitar. Nick Obando alto. Rent Romus alto. Rory Snyder alto. Steve Adams tenor. Sam Flores tenor. Joshua Marshall tenor. John Vaughn bari. David Slusser bari. Matt Streich trombone. Matt Gaspari fluglehorn. George Moore trumpet. Collette McCaslin cornet. Jeff Hobbs trumpet.  More...
Wednesday, November 12 2014 7:00 PM
Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Friendly Galaxies - An Evening of Celebrating Sun Ra at 100

— Set 1: Reconnaissance Fly (Amanda Chaudhary: keyboard/electronics; Rich Lesnik: reeds; Polly Moller: voice, flutes, guitar; Larry the O: drums, and Tim Walters: bass/electronics) perform a mixture of Sun Ra tunes & originals

— Set 2: Techno-griots Electropoetic Coffee (poet NSAA + guitarist Ross Hammond) continue and extend Sun Ra's tradition of Afro-Futurist poetry+music madness

— Set 3: UBU RA BIG BAND, assembled from the luminous gas remnants of the Beanbenders supernova & other far corners of the universe, travels through the sonic space of Sun Ra's repertoire, w video by Warren Stringer. Line-up: Steve Adams, Aaron Bennett, Myles Boisen, Phillip Greenlief, John Hanes, Joe Lasqo, Lisa Mezzacappa, Dan Plonsey, Jon Raskin, David Slusser. Space songtresses: Barbara Golden & Kattt Atchley. Astro-Terspichorean dancers: Evangel King & Nan Busse  More...
Ken Filiano/ Steve Adams Duo at the Stone
CDs on which Steve Adams appears:
Rova Saxophone Quartet Long On Logic
Artist: Rova Saxophone Quartet
Title: Long On Logic
Label: Sound Aspects SAS CD 037
Label page on this site: Sound Aspects
Sound Aspects SAS CD 037
Rova Saxophone Quartet This Time We Are Both
Artist: Rova Saxophone Quartet
Title: This Time We Are Both
Label: New Albion Records NA 041 CD
Label page on this site: New Albion Records
New Albion Records NA 041 CD
Steve Adams and Ken Filiano In Out Side
Artist: Steve Adams and Ken Filiano
Title: In Out Side
Label: 9 Winds Records NWCD 0156
Label page on this site: 9 Winds Records
9 Winds Records NWCD 0156
Rova Saxophone Quartet Morphological Echo
Artist: Rova Saxophone Quartet
Title: Morphological Echo
Label: Rastascan Records BRD 027
Label page on this site: Rastascan Records
Rastascan Records BRD 027
Rova Saxophone Quartet The Works, Volume 1
Artist: Rova Saxophone Quartet
Title: The Works, Volume 1
Label: Black Saint BS 120176
Label page on this site: Black Saint
Black Saint BS 120176
Rova Saxophone Quartet The Works, Volume 2
Artist: Rova Saxophone Quartet
Title: The Works, Volume 2
Label: Black Saint BS 120186
Label page on this site: Black Saint
Black Saint BS 120186
Rova Saxophone Quartet Bingo
Artist: Rova Saxophone Quartet
Title: Bingo
Label: Victo CD056
Label page on this site: Victo
Victo CD056
Rova Saxophone Quartet The Works, Volume 3
Artist: Rova Saxophone Quartet
Title: The Works, Volume 3
Label: Black Saint 120196-2
Label page on this site: Black Saint
Black Saint 120196-2
John Schott Shuffle Play: Elegies for the Recording Angel
Artist: John Schott
Title: Shuffle Play: Elegies for the Recording Angel
Label: New World Records 80548-2
Label page on this site: New World Records
New World Records 80548-2
Bill Horvitz Band The Disappearance
Artist: Bill Horvitz Band
Title: The Disappearance
Label: Evander Music Em 018
Label page on this site: Evander Music
Evander Music Em 018
Favorite Disks:
Steve Adams (05/13/2014)
List posted on discussion group in response to a question about Steve Lacy
Artist NameTitleDescription
Steve LacySongs (with Brion Gysin)hatart
Steve LacyClinkers (solo)hatart
Steve LacyTroubles Black Saint (quintet) (available on itunes)
Steve LacyItinerary+16hatart (large ensemble)
Steve LacyMonk's Dream(quintet w/Roswell Rudd) Classics Jazz France (available on itunes)