The press has dubbed him
"the human jukebox". He
calls himself a “reluctant tenor.” He
claims he knows over a thousand "cover" songs. But, that's not
the only thing he knows. A consummate showman, Steve Stefanowicz knows how
to delight audiences with his unique blend of acoustic guitar, rich vocals
and sharp wit.
Steve has been blind since
birth. He began playing the guitar
at age four, when his father would tune the guitar to a chord, hold Steve on his
lap, and sing along while Steve strummed the guitar. At age twelve, Steve became seriously interested in studying
the guitar, and began taking lessons. He
went on to study classical and jazz at Central Washington University.
Originally, Steve gained notoriety as lead guitarist for his 1980s Tacoma band,
Blind Ambition. In 1984, while
playing with “Malice”, the lead vocalist failed to show up for a gig, and
Steve’s vocal talents were called upon. He
became aware that he enjoyed singing nearly as much as playing guitar, and
picked up the acoustic for a stint on “the Steve and Ron show” at Wilson
High School. During college, Steve
formed a classic rock cover band called “Rock Slide,” with bassist, Tony
Cooper. Upon returning from
college, he put together “Smilin’ Jack,” who enjoyed regional success
throughout the West Coast in the early 1990s.
Since their breakup, Steve has focused on his solo career as a
singer/songwriter, but does enjoy performing with the band when the opportunity
His performances feature
both original music and “cover tunes” that keep the crowd singing along.
With a wide range of influences, including James Taylor, Warren Haynes,
Bonnie Raitt and Black Sabbath, Steve brings a broad menu of musical choices to
Steve organized local favorites Blind Ambition, Rock Slide, Big Love, and the Steve Stefanowicz Band, along with his recent project. "Too Many Cooks." He also founded the well-known regional band Smilin' Jack. His CD releases include Vortex Bluz, Lies My Sister Told You, On The Feast Of Steven, and his 2004 release, Time, which have all received regional radio attention. He has performed with Lou Rawls, Sam Andrews' Holding Company, Blue Spark, Junkyard Jane, Garth Reeves, and Cliff Eberhardt. Steve has also shared billing with Savoy Brown, Kansas and Elvin Bishop. Showing his flair for musical diversity, he has worked as lead vocalist for the nationally acclaimed big band, The Groovin Higher Jazz Orchestra. He was named "Blues Man of the Year" at the 1998 Tacoma Blues Festival. The Steve Stefanowicz Band has been featured on the nationally syndicated “Locals Only” on the WB Network, and "Blues To Do TV".
In the summer of 2004 Steve
released his first solo studio album, "Time".
Steve's comments on the project:
"With the release of
this disc I am tapping into a part of myself that I had forgotten about for many
years. As you may or may not know,
I’ve been a professional musician since September of 1991.
I’ve been doing cover tunes for a large majority of that time to keep
food on the table for myself, and those in my life.
I’ve felt that playing cover songs has always been a way to fill up my
tip jar and keep the club owners happy.
In the fall of 2002, I became aware that people were beginning to request my original songs in the clubs. I avoided playing them at first because I didn’t want to risk annoying people who came to my gigs wanting to hear James Taylor and the like. But after playing a few tunes of my own, the response was shocking and very welcome. In the fall of 2003, I began recording a few of these tunes as home demos and liked them a lot. I’m not quite sure when the idea to release these versions of these songs as a project actually came to fruition but I’m glad that it did. I’ve gone back and recorded tunes that I had forgotten about and loved it. The oldest tune on the disc was written in July of 1984 and the newest was written in April of 2004. Wow, that’s twenty-year span!"
In November 2007 Steve released his second holiday album “Midlife Christmas,” featuring a blend of classic and contemporary holiday favorites. He is working on a collection of original music for release.
For booking information please call 253-222-0241