Steve Porcaro

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Steve Porcaro
Joseph Williams and Steve Porcaro Orebro Sweden 2013.jpg
Steve Porcaro (right) at Toto's 35th Anniversary Tour in Örebro, Sweden July 3, 2013
Background information
Birth name Steven Maxwell Porcaro
Born (1957-09-02) 2 September 1957 (age 58)
Origin Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Occupation(s) Keyboardist, composer, programmer
Instruments Keyboards, programming, accordion
Associated acts Toto, Michael Jackson, Clair Marlo

Steven Maxwell "Steve" Porcaro (born September 2, 1957, Hartford, Connecticut) is an American keyboardist and composer, who was an original member of the rock band Toto.[1] He is also the sole surviving Porcaro brother with his brothers Jeff and Mike having died in 1992 and 2015 respectively.

Porcaro wrote or co-wrote at least one song on each of Toto's first six albums, with the exception of Isolation. Unlike most of his bandmates, he generally did not contribute lead or even backing vocals; he considered himself a weak singer, and sang lead on two of his earlier compositions only because he felt that the vocal styles of his bandmates, with the exception of Joseph Williams, were not appropriate for his songs.[2] He left Toto in 1986 after the Fahrenheit album in order to pursue a more full-time songwriting and composing career. Porcaro composed the music for the song "Human Nature" and produced the synthesizer for "The Girl Is Mine" from Michael Jackson's album Thriller, and also played with Gary Wright during his tour in 1977, supporting the latter's The Dream Weaver album.

However, Porcaro has continued working with Toto in various supporting capacities, assisting with keyboards, drum looping, synthesizers and arranging/composing. He has also done session musician work for many other acts, including Yes (on Union) and Jefferson Airplane (on their self-titled 1989 reunion album). He was also a member of Chris Squire's short lived band, The Chris Squire Experiment, in 1992.

His two older brothers Mike and Jeff were Toto's bassist and drummer as well as session musicians while his father Joe is a prolific session percussionist.

Steve Porcaro is currently working on film scores. He collaborated with his daughter Heather Porcaro on her debut album, The Heartstring Symphony, released in 2009. He composes the music for the FX television show Justified.

He also returned to play with Toto at live performances since 2010, when they decided to reform the band and tour in Europe to support Mike Porcaro. They have scheduled some more concerts in Europe.[3] Porcaro performed on the band's 2015 studio album Toto XIV, co-writing and singing lead on 'The Little Things'. This was only the third lead vocal performance from him on a Toto album.


Steve Porcaro played a huge variety of synthesizers on Toto albums. While David Paich handled piano duties, it was usually Steve's job to complement the music with creative synth sounds. He was known to use Yamaha GS1, Yamaha DX1, Yamaha CS80, Roland Jupiter-8, Minimoog, Oberheim Xpander, Polyfusion Modular, Dynacord Add One and Sequential Circuits Prophet synthesizers among others. The synth solo in the Toto song Rosanna is a noted example of his approach. [4]

Nowadays he prefers working with software synthesizers. Onstage he is using two Yamaha Motifs to drive his Apple Mainstage based virtual synth rig.[5]


  1. ^ Hogan, Ed. "Biography: Steve Porcaro". AMG. Retrieved 19 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "Lea", Retrieved October 27, 2011.
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