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Release Date: 2018
Publisher: Instant Harmony
Softcover, 167 pages
Steve Masakowski jokes modestly that he’s probably best known now in New Orleans as the father of his daughter Sasha, a rising star on the jazz and pop scene. That belies his world-class performances with the city’s leading modern-jazz group, Astral Project, and other renowned local and touring jazz artists. His career has had several other innovative threads, including the electronic fusion group Mars, multi-year duets with Ellis Marsalis, and running the Composers Recording Studio in the 1980s; nine albums as a leader, including two for the prestigious Blue Note Records in the 1990s; and more recently, performances and recordings with his talented family. His early adoption of self-designed seven-string guitars, his invention of the keytar, and his specially designed switch-pick all bear witness to his creativity. Highly respected as a jazz educator, he is a Distinguished Professor at the University of New Orleans, where he holds the position of Coca-Cola Endowed Chair and Director of Jazz Studies. Drawing on interviews with Steve and some 40 other New Orleans musicians as well as an inconceivable quantity of other research, this book examines all facets of his career and his recordings as leader and sideman. Essential reading for fans of Steve, Astral Project, New Orleans music, and jazz guitar.