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Born in Brooklyn in 1938, Steve Kuhn was fascinated with jazz very early in his life. He began classical piano lessons at age five and soon began to “improvise and syncopate the classical repertoire.”

In his early teens, Kuhn studied with legendary teacher Margaret Chaloff who schooled him in the “Russian Technique”, an invaluable tool for tone production and projection. Chaloff’s son, Serge Chaloff, baritone saxophonist for Woody Herman, hired the 13 year-old pianist to play in his group. Throughout his teens Kuhn continued to play in Boston jazz clubs with, amongst other visiting celebrities, Coleman Hawkins, Chet Baker and Vic Dickenson.

After graduation from Harvard College, Kuhn attended the Lenox School of Music where he recorded with Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. The faculty included Bill Evans, George Russell, and Gunther Schuller. While at Lenox, Kuhn met trumpeter Kenny Dorham and began a two-year stint, interrupted when Kuhn was asked to join John Coltrane’s newly-formed quartet.

Kuhn next joined Stan Getz’s band, which included bassist Scott LaFaro. After a period with Art Farmer, he formed the first Steve Kuhn Trio, with drummer Pete LaRoca and bassist Steve Swallow. At the end of the 1960s he spent four years living in Europe, where his performance had a significant impact upon local players. Upon returning to the United States, Kuhn began his long-term affiliation with ECM, resulting in a string of important albums including “Trance”, “Ecstasy”, “Non-Fiction” and the collaborations with Sheila Jordan, “Playground” and “Last Year’s Waltz”.

In the mid-80’s, Kuhn co-founded the popular All Star Trio, with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Al Foster, and launched a new, and still evolving, edition of his trio with bassist David Finck – drummers for the latter have included Joey Baron (as on the ECM recording “Remembering Tomorrow”), Lewis Nash and Billy Drummond. He continues to tour widely, with a strong following in Europe and, especially, Japan where his albums frequently appear in the jazz charts.

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