Steve Cromity may be new to the New York jazz scene as a performer, but his lifelong passion for the art form began as a boy when he would often lie awake at night listening to the improvisational riffs and wails coming from the popular Bed-Stuy jazz bar downstairs. A Brooklyn native, Steve went on to play drums in junior high and high school, where his appreciation for the music continued to grow. He caught the singing bug in his early twenties after hearing the “godfather” of vocalese, Eddie Jefferson. But thoughts of pursuing that aspiration became a dream deferred. Meanwhile, Steve and wife Lettie raised two sons while he earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University. He enjoyed a long and rewarding career with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, of which he is now retired. Steve’s two sons are now grown and he is the proud grandfather of five. But it was the tragic events of September 11, 2001—and his safe evacuation from the World Trade Center—that reminded him to fully appreciate life’s uncertainties; Steve realized he had some unfinished business to attend. The seed that was planted all those years ago—before he even knew who Miles and Trane were—was now ready to bear fruit.
Steve has entered the jazz world with a burst of energy and a total commitment to not only share his talent, but to continue to grow and develop his own unique presence as a jazz vocalist. Steve’s first CD, “Steppin’ Out”, which has received the approval of audiences and musicians alike, is a testament to his vocal skills and musical taste. To pay homage to the tradition, he chose to assemble for his first recording a collection of the jazz standards that he heard growing up—a mixture of up-tempo tunes and ballads, including Just Friends, What’s New, and Invitation. Accompanying him on the date are several all-stars in their own right: Eric Wyatt (sax), Rodney Kendrick (piano), Joseph Lapore (bass), and Emanuel Harrold (drums).