“So soothing and fiercely wild at the same time. ”
— MJ Stark
Steven Katz, a life-long guitarist, has been performing since age twelve. Although he was granted early acceptance to both Boston Conservatory and Berkeley School of Music, he chose to instead pursue the path of a career musician. After playing the club circuit in rock and blues bands, he formed Strictly Taboo in 1990 with Hillary Smith and gained immediate regional popularity with their albums "Playing with Fire" and "Speak No Evil". The band's music was put into rotation on both national and international radio stations. Rock notables such as Bobby Keys(the Rolling Stones), Tim Pierce, Randy Castillo, Jeff Nelson, (Cameo) and Greg Whelchel (Pointer Sisters) regularly joined the band in the studio and on stage. They performed over three hundred nights a year, playing the large club circuit in the western United States and opened for such artists as Delbert McClinton, Steppenwolf, Koko Taylor and Edgar Winter. Strictly Taboo, as an unsigned band, became the #1 band on Armed Services radio during Desert Storm, and went on to win over ten awards from the New Mexico Music Industry Coalition, including two "Best Album of the Year" awards.
In 1997, Steven moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he was influenced by the local Afro-Cuban musical styles. There, he has released four self-produced albums of original compositions. His first solo album, Crucian Serenade, blended local Latin/ Caribbean themes with nuevo-flamenco Spanish guitar. His second release , El Viajero, a fusion of rhumba flamenco, Cuban, Latin jazz, gypsy jazz and rock. His third solo CD, Dance of the Brujas, was released in January, 2008. He has also completed a CD of solo classical guitar music entitled “500 Years” and “ In The Garden Of Earthly Delights” which has strong Middle Eastern influences, both rhythmically and thematically. Songs from all of his CD’s are regularly broadcast throughout the Caribbean. Many of his compositions have been featured in movie soundtracks.
In recent years, Steven has played in many notable concerts including the St. Croix Blues and Heritage Festival, Jazz in the Moonlight Series and shows with Jonathan Edwards, the Latin Jazz All Stars, featuring legendary Cuban pianist, Hilario Duran. He also opened for Gato Barbieri, Latin Jazz Grammy winner Nestor Torres, John Cleary, Mavis Staples, Richard Smith and Dr. John. He continues to produce many artists and appears on countless recordings. His latest solo album, Aphrodite, is a much anticipated acoustic fingerstyle guitar project and will be released early October, 2021.
Few instrumental guitarists have Katz's stylistic range. He continually evolves his art and isn't satisfied with stagnation. He is now stretching the boundaries of the solo acoustic guitar with his percussive finger style compositions and performances.
Artists performed with:
Heidi Svelmøe, Gato Barbieri , Bon Jovi , John Cleary, Deborah Coleman, Dr. John,
John Lee Hooker, Jonathan Edwards, Jack Mack and the Heart Attack
James Harmon Blues Band, Charlie Sexton, Will Sexton, Bobby Keys (Rolling Stones),
The Latin Jazz All Stars, Delbert McClinton, Mountain, Amy Lavere, Greg Johnson, Jeff Nelson, Tim Pierce, Hilario Duran, Mavis Staples, Randy Castillo (Ozzy Osbourne), Steppenwolf, Koko Taylor, Jimmy Thackeray, Nestor Torres, Greg Whelchel, Edgar Winter, Deanna Brown, Sean Harkness, Toussaint the Liberator
STRICTLY TABOO/ Playing With Fire/1992
STRICTLY TABOO/Speak No Evil/1994
STEVEN KATZ/Crucian Serenade/2000
STEVEN KATZ/El Viajero/2004
STEVEN KATZ/Dance Of The Brujas/2006
STEVEN KATZ/500 Years/2008
STEVEN KATZ/The Garden Of Earthly Delights/2010
GRETCHEN RHODES/The Space In Between/2020
DEANNA BROWN/Live at Aqua Sounds/2010
DEANNA BROWN/The Plunge/2011
DAVE SCHNUR/Now And Then/2015
VARIOUS ARTISTS/Songbird Riddim/ I Grade Records/2013
DR RICH AND PIP ALLEN/Wonderland/2013
PIP ALLEN/When It Rains/2016
GIVE LOVE TIME/Pip Allen/2017
RICH ALLEN/New Shoes/2018
EL BANDITO/Ocean Records/2016
DICK'S GARAGE/Crucian Life/2013
Voted Best Entertainer In The VI