Steve Uccello is an upright/electric bassist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He has playing experience in many genres including jazz, blues, folk, bluegrass, R & B, mariachi, and classical. In addition to being a musician for hire, Steve also produces his own compositions.
Steve started on drums at age 10, but long before that began tinkering with samplers and manipulating tape machines in unconventional ways, making his first forays into the world of sound design. Steve’s musical training began in earnest at age 13 when he studied guitar with keyboardist/guitarist Edward Degroot.
As a bassist Steve has performed/toured and/or recorded with:
- Multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter virtuoso Dayan Kai. Together in a long musical partnership Dayan and Steve have toured the U.S. and Canada.
- Kerrville and Telluride award-winning songwriter Keith Greeninger.
- Seattle-based Steel Pan/Masquerade ensemble Bakra Bata.
- Nationally acclaimed children’s artist Nancy Cassidy.
- Mandolin virtuosos Don Stiernberg and Rich Del Grosso.
- Gospel artist Nehemiah Brown And His Voices Of Joy Ensemble in a tour of Italy.
- Songwriter/activist David Grimes and jazz composer/multi-instrumentalist Kirk Danielson.
Steve Uccello has appeared as a bassist at many festivals including The Oregon Country Fair, The High Sierra Festival, The Kerville Folk Festival, The Sandpoint Festival, The Millpond Festival, The Island Lake Festival, in British Columbia, The Bumbershoot Festival, and The Folk Life Festival in Seattle. He was also invited to sit in with the Joe Craven Trio at the American River Festival in Coloma, California.
Steve is also a member of the Spanish Nuevo Cancion group The Juan L. Sanchez Ensemble, which has played throughout the U.S. and Canada.
He was a “Featured Guest” at the Mandolin Symposium (2009 and 2010) in Santa Cruz, CA providing bass for student ensembles led by David Grisman and Mike Marshall.
Uccello has numerous solo and collaborative projects including “Clarified Birds”. Clarified Birds presents music written by alchemists and philosophers such as Michael Maier, and treats it as a living text to be brought to the sensibilities of a modern audience.
Another project is “Ash On Dust”, a collaboration with award winning bassist/sound designer/film-tv-game composer Jeff Schmidt.
There’s also “sung”, a trans-atlantic collaborative duo with Australian percussionist/composer Nat Grant (she’s currently completing a PhD in music composition at the Victorian College of the Arts-University of Melbourne).
Steve is a member of “Kontra”, a bass ensemble led by Stan Poplin including Dan Robbins, Bill Bosch, and Patrice Wallace.
As a freelance bassist Steve plays gigs around the Monterey & San Fransisco Bay areas. Steve is the bassist in The Latin Jazz Collective with John Nava as well as Along Came Betty. He has played gigs with The Roger Eddy Band, legendary guitarist, Bruce Forman’s group: Cowbop. Steve was also a featured soloist with the Monterey Bay Jazz Orchestra in 2009 at the 52nd annual Monterey Jazz Festival as well as with The Andy Weis Monterey Jazz Allstars at the 60th Monterey Jazz Festival in 2017. Steve has played in the Dottie Dodgion trio as well. Steve can also be regularly found playing musical theater engagements at The Western Stage and The Pacific Repertory Theatre. He is also the steady bassist at Santa Cruz’s First Congregational Church in the Jazz/Gospel service.
Steve studied music formally at Cabrillo College (near Santa Cruz, CA) under jazz trumpeter/arranger Ray Brown and Latin percussionist Mike Strunk. He completed extensive coursework in performance, theory, musicianship, and was the principal bassist in the orchestra for 2 years. He also gained experience chamber music, including bass ensemble.
Steve completed his BA at CSU Monterey Bay where he studied with world-renowned bassists Stan Poplin and Ray Drummond and saxophonist Paul Contos. Steve was CSUMB’s first Jazz Studies graduate in 2007.
He received the Jazz Music Studies Pioneer Award and the Distinction in the Major Award. Steve also played Guitarron with the CSUMB Mariachi ensemble, Mariachi Del Sol De La Bahia. Steve was a featured soloist with the Monterey Bay Jazz Orchestra in 2009 at the 52nd annual Monterey Jazz Festival
Steve is a private instructor for upright bass & electric bass. He’s taught through Hollister Music, Robert Louis Stevenson High School in Pacific Grove. He has taught a bass master class for the Pacific Grove High school orchestra. Steve is currently the Director Of Bands at Palma School, in Salinas, California. At Palma he teaches a High School Symphonic Band, a Junior high Concert Band, a Jazz Ensemble, a Beginning Guitar class, as well as an Audio Production class.