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Take Five With Steve Slater

Stephen Slater By

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Meet Steve Slater:
I am the drummer/songwriter for Park St. Trio. I play a lot of music with a lot of groups, from rock to jazz to classical. My greatest love though is writing for my jazz group. I find the most joy comes from creating new, original tunes for people to enjoy, and then performing them live.

Instrument(s):
Drums.

Teachers and/or influences?
Scott Amendola, Wally Schnalle,

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
Sometime in high school, after playing drums since fourth grade, I realized that was all I ever wanted to do. I would come home from school, play my drums for hours, and invite anyone and everyone over to play with me. I knew it from the point on.

Your sound and approach to music:
I like good melodies, I like making music that other people will enjoy. Strong, singable melodies, with chords behind them that create a mood that is obvious and likable.

Your teaching approach:
I like to give students the skills to learn. Some teachers like to teach songs, I prefer to teach them how to teach themselves the songs. This way when they leave my studio they will always have something new to work on.

Favorite venue:
Favorite venue is by far Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco. Great atmosphere, different styles of music, the staff is killer and they feed you well. Runner-up is Speizekammer in Alameda CA, it's a German restaurant. They have great food and really laidback atmosphere.

The first Jazz album I bought was:
Miles Davis, Kind of Blue.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
I write the music, of course :)

Seriously though, I am super open-minded, so I bring in a song and if someone has an idea to help make the song better then we try it. If it works, then great, if it doesn't then we've learned. So, most important is my open-minded attitude.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Open-minded, but not mainstream.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Playing more accessible music for mass audiences. As well as making sure you are performing all over.

What is in the near future?
More show's in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as traveling up and down the west coast.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
A firefighter.


Photo Credit
Courtesy of Steve Slater

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