Steve Klink’s funky piano style together with his distinct songwriting and arranging abilities makes for a striking blend of jazz, gospel, swing, blues and folk-bop. “On the piano [Klink] tells little stories that reveal their message to every listener…” (Kieler Nachrichten). Taking his audiences on voyages through musical styles, times, and places, Steve is a traveller, “one of those magicians who can wake up the tradition and bring it to life with just ten fingers and eighty-eight keys; who can make old sound new and new sound old…In his playing even more than in swing, blues, and bebop – there is the pure joy of story-telling. And he’s got a lot to tell” (Tip Berlin). Writing for Germany’s Der Spiegel, Peter Bölke calls listening to Steve’s music “a totally enjoyable experience, not just for jazz fans!” And the KulturSpiegel says: “[this young] piano player digs into the keys with such powerful joy that the sparks start to fly.”
more at: www.steveklink.eu
American piano player Steve Klink has recorded with Gregory Hutchinson (“Blue Suit” – ACT Music), performed with Jeff Hamilton and Dick Oates and has sold over 20,000 CDs worldwide. After studying at the New England Conservatory in Boston with Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, Jimmy Guiffre, George Russell, Stanley Cowell, Jim McNeely and Dave Holland, Steve had his first successful tours in Europe (Neuburg Birdland, Schloss Elmau, Quasimodo Berlin, Fabrik Hamburg, Radio + TV recording WDR, NDR, BR, “Wir Jazz-Wunderkinder!”) when his CD “Feels Like Home” (minor music) became one of the most popular sold jazz CDs in Germany.
Steve Klink’s particular mixture of folk-bop, blues and jazz influences can be found in the melodies of the American Middle West. Stretched out over the plains of Iowa, the roots music of the heartland came rolling through his hometown at an early age: blues bands traveling west from Chicago, bluegrass groups from Tennessee. The budding piano player started to absorb lessons in songwriting and performance by listening to local masters, and his first gigging was as a solo-jazz piano player, touring with swing bands based out of Chicago and as an electric bass player in a local rock cover-band. In addition to this he spent a good portion of his childhood traveling, mostly in Europe and America.
Before he had finished his studies in jazz piano and composition at New England Conservatory and New York University he knew he had stories to tell. In 1999, with the support of ACT Music’s Ziggy Loch, Steve was able to release Blue Suit with drummer Gregory Hutchinson. This swinging disc of mostly original material immediately caught the public ear: “…The most remarkable debut album of the year…” (Ultimo). “..[Steve packs] everything into his first CD that makes the blood start to boil: blues, folk, gospel, funk. A pure joy to listen to.” (KulturSpiegel). “The jazz tradition begins to live again, with passion…”(Ralf Dombrowki). “Vitality and the joy of playing are the foundation of [Steve's] swinging trio production…” (Jazz Podium).
More acclaim followed. In 2000 Steve was invited by Minor Music label chief Stefan Meyner to produce a series of CDs featuring songs by two of today’s most revered and venerable songwriters, Joni Mitchell and Randy Newman. Having been himself a lifelong fan of both, Steve felt honored to work out his favorite songs in a miniature, intimate setting with his trio. “His new record Places to come from, Places to go proves that Steve Klink is a man of the extraordinary…” (Jazz Podium); “…A real work of the heart…” (Jazz Thing).
“Feels Like Home…is the name of the most beautiful homage to Randy Newman…following in Newman’s footsteps, Klink shows himself to be a master of musical reduction to the barest essentials…” (Klassik Heute). “These interpretations bring a stimulating, new perspective to the refined… and solid compositions of Randy Newman.” (Frankfurter Rundschau). “This record has everything: enthusiasm, spirit, passion, melancholy…” (InMusic). Feels Like Home (14 songs by Randy Newman) became one of the best-selling jazz records in Germany in 2001.
Steve was offered more opportunities to record and since 2003 has released seven CDs. With the First Lady of Slovene Jazz Mia Žnidarič: I Like Pie, I Like Cake (2013); Nevidni Orkester (2008); Too Close For Comfort (2004) & Love You Madly (2011, with Big Band RTV Slovenia). With Tuey Connell: Under the Influence (2003) as well as two new CDs under his own name: Searching the Blue (2009 DMG/Broken Silence) which explores folk-bop through the lenses of gospel, folk, jazz and retro-bugaloos; and his latest project, The Ocean.
Since moving from America Steve Klink has extensively performed with his trio in Europe’s jazz clubs, concert halls, festivals, live radio and television broadcasts. The hundreds of compositions and big band arrangements found in his repertoire are regularly played on jazz radio across Europe and Japan. The Steve Klink Trio was one of six acoustic piano trios chosen Europe-wide to compete in the BMW World Jazz Award: “The Art of Trio”. He is currently finishing a master’s degree in classical composition at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Recent press quotes about The Ocean:
“A Masterwork.” ***** (5 of 5 stars) Mladina magazine
["The Ocean"] proves once again: you only need the simplest of musical ideas to create powerful intensity…it is a courageous and fascinating album, an adventurous voyage over the ocean with Steve Klink, Led Zeppelin and John Cage.
Wolfgang Rumpf, NWR Radio Germany
Klink, the man of heart and mind…wants to share his personal universe of sound without compromise: in return for this he offers us a spontaneous world of major and minor which is intuitive and downright genuine. ***** (5 of 6 stars)
“This is a Midwest melting pot, this is a modern day mixture of jazz, blues, folk, funk and soul, this is Steve Klink’s multi-facetted musical universe, this is the world of Folk-bop at its best, and it’s a game-changer. There are many stories here, and listening to the opening minutes of the American jazzer’s latest project gives a foretaste of the musical journey to come: the classic, sizzling piano trio is joined by the contrabass’ be-bop line, to be taken to a higher level by the three horns’ melody of yearning. And so the stories begin, instrumental tales of longing, love and life…” Andrej Predin, Slovenske Novice