||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013)|
|Birth name||Stephen Williamson|
|Born||June 28, 1964|
|Instruments||Tenor, soprano and alto saxophones, keyboards|
|Years active||1982 – present|
|Labels||Verve, Universal Distribution, Polydor|
|Associated acts||Louis Moholo, Chris McGregor, Jazz Warriors, Julian Joseph|
Born in London, Steve Williamson began playing saxophone at the age of 16 and started his career playing in Reggae bands (Misty in Roots). In 1984 and 1985 he studied at London's Guildhall School of Music, where he was tutored by Lionel Grigson. He was a member of the noted collective of British-born black jazz musicians who came together as the Jazz Warriors in the mid-1980s. At the Nelson Mandela 70th birthday open-air festival in 1988 Williamson played alongside Courtney Pine in Wembley Stadium and afterwards was a constant presence at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club. He was member of Louis Moholo's Viva La Black (1988) and of Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath (1990). During the 1990s he led his own band and appeared in projects of Iain Ballamy, Maceo Parker, Bheki Mseleku, US3, and Graham Haynes.
In 1990 Williamson released his first album A Waltz for Grace with Verve, featuring vocalist Abbey Lincoln. In 1992 he released his second album, Rhyme Time, followed by Journey to Truth in 1994, featuring Cassandra Wilson.
Steve Williamson's career is based on the constant study of harmony and research of the all possible harmonic approaches to composition. His musical knowledge – from studies of West African music to the deconstruction of Debussy's harmony – is wide and gives him the opportunity to experiment with his music, creating always innovative and unique compositions..
- A Waltz for Grace (1990, with Abbey Lincoln)
- Rhyme Time (1992, with Cassandra Wilson)
- Journey To Truth (1994)
- Jazz Warriors, Out of Many, One People (1987)
- Martin Kunzler, Jazz-Lexikon, vol. 2, 2002. ISBN 3-499-16513-9
- Steve Williamson biography, Jazz Services.