Steve HallSteve grew up in Palo Alto, CA. Playing guitar and performing in bands, he decided that music was to be his life's calling. Early on he became a huge fan of blues artists BB King, Bobby "Blue" Bland and Little Junior Parker. He found these artists when he discovered radio station KWBR AM from Oakland. KWBR was 1000 watts of genuine lo-fi mono soul music that left a huge footprint in the Bay Area music scene.
During high school he was introduced to jazz trumpet great Tom Harrell and his horizons broadened. At that time he also began guitar lessons with Vern Older. Playing gigs with Tom and bassist Seward McCain he began his lifelong love affair with jazz and blues.
With the support of his parents, Steve left the Bay Area to attend the Berklee College of Music and studied guitar with Jack Peterson and Bill Leavitt in Boston, MA. The 1960's included a year in Bien Hoa, Vietnam while in the US Army. He graduated from Berklee in 1970.
Upon graduation from Berklee, Steve and his wife Kathleen moved to Los Angeles to break into the studio scene. Despite highlights such as performing with Willie Bobo's latin jazz band, some recording sessions, and numerous big bands including LA's top sidemen Steve decided to return to the Bay Area.
Back in the Bay Area, Steve bought a Hammond B-3 and taught himself how to play jazz organ. Applying the keyboard techniques that he had learned at Berklee from teacher Dean Earl, Steve quickly began working five nights a week with the great vocalist Nate Pruitt. He was later joined by guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Bruce Garnitz. He supported himself and his family by playing in local night clubs, restaurants, and hotels. In the late 1970's and early 1980's he designed and operated a recording studio (Sensa) in the South Bay area. He also began studying the trumpet and flugelhorn with Steve Campos during this period. After more than a decade of night club work Steve returned to school and earned an Associate's Degree in Electronics.
During the 1980's, Steve performed with weekend bands and worked in high-tech companies during the day. This ended in 1989 when he and his family left the Bay Area and moved to Spokane, WA where they lived for six and 1/2 years. While in Spokane, Steve performed extensively with Spokane-area jazz greats Steve Maurer and Terri Cooley. These two renewed his love of jazz and performing. He also worked a very enjoyable, extended gig with flautist Pam Meyer.
During his time in Spokane he formed the blues band Outside/In which included his friends Steve Maurer (trumpet) and Terri Cooley (alto sax, clarinet and flute) as well as Juel Rowden (bass) and Doug Sennibaldi (drums). Leading this band of excellent musicians on guitar and vocals, Outside/In performed in Spokane and northern Idaho.
In 1996 Steve moved to Portland, OR and dropped out of performing for awhile before forming The Steve Hall Trio in early 2001. The trio expanded to a quintet in 2004 and is still active. When he's not playing organ with the quintet, Steve can often be found playing flugelhorn at one of Portland's many jam sessions or the occasional solo jazz guitar gig. He has also performed locally with saxophonist Reggie Houston, guitarist Jake Booker, organist/saxophonist Wade Kirtley and the band Saxophobia.
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Cruisin' On Burnside
recorded 2011 in Portland, OR/USA
Steve Hall, Hammond organ
John Dover, trumpet, flugelhorn
Bill Harris, tenor sax, alto sax
Peter Schwimmer, guitar
Kenny Morse, drums