Kuhn, Steve (actually, Stephen Lewis)

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Kuhn, Steve (actually, Stephen Lewis)

Kuhn, Steve (actually, Stephen Lewis), jazz pianist, composer; b. Brooklyn, N.Y., March 24, 1938. He is a unique talent who plays a truly two-handed piano where the left hand may join in with the right or produce a thunderous roll. He was a child prodigy and an article was written about his ability to identify his father’s 78s by the labels at age two-and-a-half, before he could read. He studied in Boston with legendary classical teacher Margaret Chaloff, mother of Serge. He began taking lessons at five, and by 1959 he went to the Lenox School of Jazz. A demo from around that time has never been released. He was accomplished enough to earn stints with Kenny Dorham (fall 1959), who he’d studied with at Lenox, then Coltrane’s first quartet (May 1960), then Stan Getz. He was a member of the Art Farmer Quartet from 1964-66. Kuhn moved to Sweden in 1967, living there until 1971 and heading his trio throughout Europe from his Stockhom base. He returned to N.Y. that year, heading a quartet and since then recording and touring frequently, appearing at festivals throughout America and Europe, usually in trio or solo. In the 1970s he experimented with strange and effective poetry readings/chanting over his playing. In the 1990s he appeared several times a year at Knickerbocker’s in Manhattan.


Country and Western Sound of Jazz (1963); Three Waves (1966); October Suite: Three Compositions of Gary McFarland (1966); Watch What Happens (1968); Childhood Is Forever (1969); Steve Kuhn (1972); Raindrops (Steve Kuhn Live in N.Y.) (1972); Trance (1974); Ecstasy (1974); Motility (1977); Non- Fiction (1978); Playground (1979); Last Year’s Waltz (1981); Mostly Ballads (1984); Life’s Magic (1986); Porgy (1988); Oceans in the Sky (1989); Looking Back (1990); Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, V (1990); Years Later (1992); Seasons of Romance (1995).

—Lewis Porter

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Kuhn, Steve (actually, Stephen Lewis)

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