Steve Williams (jazz drummer)

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Steve Williams
Steve Williams, jazz drummer.jpg
Williams in New York City, 2007
Background information
Birth nameStephen Edward Williams
Born (1956-01-07) January 7, 1956 (age 63)
Rochester, New York, U.S.
Years active1980–present
Associated actsShirley Horn

Stephen Edward Williams (born January 7, 1956) is an American jazz drummer. For twenty-five years he collaborated with jazz singer Shirley Horn.

From Washington, D.C.[edit]

Williams was born in Rochester, New York and grew up in Washington, D.C. He went to the University of Miami, where he joined Monty Alexander's band, with whom he started to perform on the internationally. He furthered his music education in New York, with Billy Hart.

Williams played in Washington with Milt Jackson, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Williams, Woody Shaw, Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson, John Hicks, Larry Willis, and Mulgrew Miller. He joined Gary Thomas' band, with whom he recorded one of his first compositions, "Pads".

With Shirley Horn[edit]

Then he joined Shirley Horn, who would keep for twenty-five years the same rhythm section: Charles Ables (bass) and Steve Williams (drums). Critic Don Heckman wrote in the Los Angeles Times (February 2, 1995) about "the importance of bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Williams to the Horn's sound. Working with boundless subtlety, following her every spontaneous twist and turn, they were the ideal accompanists for a performer who clearly will tolerate nothing less than perfection". His music relationship with the pianist and singer gave him the opportunity to tour the world and record with such artists as Toots Thielemans, Branford Marsalis and Wynton Marsalis, Carmen McRae, Roy Hargrove, and Miles Davis.

To New York City[edit]

After his long collaboration with Shirley Horn, who died in 2005, Williams moved back to New York City in 2006, where he studied with Michael Carvin. He performs with the Slagle/Stryker Band, Paul Bollenback, Roni Ben-Hur, Larry Willis, the John Hicks Legacy Band, Bill Saxton, Bob Mover, Amy London, Sara Lazarus, Ben Vereen, Joe Lovano, Eddie Henderson, Carmen Lundy, Bob Stewart, and Clifton Anderson.

His first album as leader was New Incentive, which included musicians Olivier Hutman (p), Michael Bowie (b), Donvonte McCoy (t), and Antoine Roney (s), John Hicks, Gary Bartz, and Roy Hargrove.


As leader

  • 2006: New Incentive (Elabeth)

With Shirley Horn

With others


  1. ^ "Steve Williams discography". Retrieved 27 September 2016.

External links[edit]